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DOVER, Del. (CBS/AP) — Armed men suspected of triggering an exchange of gunfire at a weekend soccer tournament in Delaware that left three people dead and two wounded apparently targeted the tournament organizer, but authorities on Monday remained mum about the motive for the shooting.
The dead included the tournament organizer, a 16-year-old boy participating in the tournament and one of three suspects alleged to have initiated the deadly violence Sunday afternoon at a park near downtown Wilmington.
One of two suspects taken into custody was the subject of an outstanding warrant charging him with first-degree murder in a 2008 shooting, authorities said.
Police said one or more people in the crowd returned fire at the gunmen in the latest in a spike of fatal shootings that has exacerbated concerns about violent crime in Wilmington. Just hours before gunfire erupted at the soccer tournament, a man was found shot to death downtown.
Capt. Nancy Dietz, head of the Wilmington police department’s criminal investigations division, said the gunmen apparently targeted tournament organizer Herman Curry, 47, of New Castle.
According to witnesses, one of the gunmen tapped Curry on the shoulder, and he was fatally shot in the chest when he turned around, Dietz said.
“It does not appear to be a random shooting,” said Dietz, who refused to confirm reports suggesting that Curry was targeted because he was a witness to the 2008 shooting.
Also killed was Alexander Kamara, 16, of Pike Creek, who died after being shot in the head. His sisters say Kamara was a straight ‘A’ student at A.I. DuPont High School in Greenville, where he wrestled and played soccer.READ MORE: Temple Police Issue Warning After Reports Of Man On Scooter Touching Women Inappropriately
“He wanted to be a soccer player. He said Daddy, I’ll play for the US team and score a goal,” his father told Eyewitness News outside his Wilmington, Delaware home. His family has a memorial to their youngest of five kids outside the house.
One of the alleged gunmen, Sheldon Olge, 43, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Christiana Hospital.
“He and the other two suspects came to the game, fired multiple rounds and then got in their car and fled the scene,” Dietz said.
Authorities said the vehicle crashed a short distance away. Olge, who police believe was living in Maryland, was found inside the vehicle. Otis Phillips, 35, of New Castle and Jeffrey Phillips, 22, of Wilmington fled on foot but were found hiding in a vacant lot. Police said the two men are not related.
Police said Otis Phillips was wanted on an outstanding warrant charging him with first-degree murder in the 2008 shooting of Chris Palmer, 40.
Otis Phillips and Jeffrey Phillips, who was shot in the leg, are both charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Curry and Kamara. They also are charged with attempted murder of a 33-year-old Baltimore man who suffered a minor gunshot wound to the shoulder in Sunday’s shooting.
Dietz refused to say whether any of the suspects had a criminal history, but court records indicate that Olge had previous drug-related convictions in Delaware.
Kevin Kelley, a city councilman running for mayor, was at the park minutes before the shooting started.
“People should be able to feel safe. We need to get officers out of their cars and on the street. I sympathize with this 16-year-old’s family. The bad guys can’t win,” Kelley said.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The AssociatedPress contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Suspects Hold Man At Gunpoint In West Philadelphia Robbery