Families speak out about Greenville baseball stadium shooting

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A shooting near a Greenville Baseball stadium has left lasting impacts on young players and their families.

Nine-year-old Gavin, a member of the Greenville Astros little league team, now views baseball differently according to his father, Steven Branch.

“It’s almost stealing innocence from him, just because he doesn’t understand why someone would do something like this, where they would even get a gun,” Branch said.

Astros head coach Heather White says stay bullets came dangerously close to the field, forcing parents and coaches to shield their children with their bodies.

“The dugout is actually locked, so we couldn’t get into the bathrooms. However, because of where it was happening, our first thought was to get behind the dugout,” Branch explained.

Greenville Police Chief Ted Sauls said they responded to a shots-fired call around 7:30 p.m. on Friday that left damage to a window of an apartment.

“We have visitors there when we have special things going on, but I think just as critically about the people in the neighborhood that were victimized as a whole,” Chief Sauls said.

Branch emphasized the need for better policies, safety measures, training, and resources.

“I don’t want the next child to suffer because there wasn’t something in place to make sure they were able to process what happened and talk to individuals,” he added.

Coach White arranged a counseling session for the young athletes before their game Saturday morning, which they ended up winning.