Bystander shoots gunman at 'Peace for the City' rally in Titusville

Gunman shot in head, airlifted to hospital, police say

By Clay LePard - Reporter, Troy Blevins - Graham Media Group

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - A man who opened fire during a "Peace for the City" rally at a park was hospitalized after being shot by a bystander, according to the Titusville Police Department.

The shooting happened Saturday afternoon at Isaac Campbell Park in the 700 block of South Street. More than 100 people showed up for a rally meant to promote peace in the city, as well as give away backpacks for children getting ready for the upcoming school year.

Police said the man was involved in a fistfight with another person at a crowded park, left and returned several minutes later with a gun and opened fire.

"They started shooting," said Dwight Harvey, who was the DJ for the event. "The bounce houses were full of kids, and they started shooting right under the tree."

Harvey captured the shooting while he was recording the event on Facebook Live.

The gunman was then shot by a bystander, who police said was lawfully licensed to carry a firearm.

The initial shooter was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. His gun was recovered from the scene.

Police said the shooting scene was secure.

The bystander who shot the suspect waited for officers and has been fully cooperative with the investigation, police said.

"We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident," Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson said. "This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park. This could have been so much worse."

The rally was put on by family members of Tony Butler, who Brevard County deputies said was murdered after his body was found inside a burned car in Mims on July 12.

Detectives consulted with the State Attorney's office. No charges are expected against the bystander as his actions were within the law based on the preliminary investigation, according to police.

The case remains an active investigation by the Titusville Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Titusville Police Department at 321-264-7800. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward by calling CRIMELINE at 800-423-TIPS (8477).

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