Gunfire sends youth soccer team running for cover in Minneapolis

The coach of a youth soccer team says his players are still in shock after shots rang out between games in south Minneapolis, sending kids and parents running for cover.

"We heard two cars running into each other—like a crash—and then right after that, we heard gunshots," said Alan Goroztieta, the soccer coordinator of Urban Ventures.  

Goroztieta says the gunfire erupted on the 2900 block of 5th Avenue South Monday while the nearby soccer fields were full of kids.

"The kids that were on the fields panicked. The parents did as well," he said recalling the trauma. "They were just trying desperately to protect their kids."

One coach was injured when a bullet grazed his ribs. No children were physically injured.  

He says some of the suspects, four or five men, ran past the team with guns in hand.  

"For some of [the kids], it is the worst thing they are experiencing in their life," he said.

"We saw a few people running down the street and one of them dropped here in the parking lot and she was all scratched up and kept screaming, ‘Did I get shot? Did I get shot? Will you check my back? Check my back'," said Santiago Guachamin, a nearby business owner.

Guachamin was closing up shop when the shooting happened. He says after 17 years in the neighborhood, he thinks the criminals are becoming more brazen.

"They just want to eliminate whoever they’re fighting with and we are collateral damage at some point. It’s unbelievable," said Guachamin.

Urban Ventures is a nonprofit organization that supports youth and families in under-served south Minneapolis neighborhoods. The majority of their soccer players live within a five block radius of where the shooting occurred.  

"This is a place where they are supposed to be feeling safe and forgetting about things like this and I don’t think it’s fair that they’re experiencing these things," said Goroztieta.

With kids expressing that they’re too afraid to go back to fields following the shooting, coaches have canceled practice for the next couple of days and are looking for a field nearby where they can play.

Minneapolis police responded to the shooting, but the suspects had already fled. They are investigating.