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MILLVILLE, N.J. (CBS) — A shooting outside a Millville middle school has left a youth football coach dead on Thursday night.
It happened around 8 p.m. near the Lakeside Middle School located at 2 Sharp Street in Millville.
Authorities say shots rang out as hundreds of kids were wrapping up a football practice nearby.
“Practice was finished and we were gathering our stuff together and as we heard gunshot fires we, basically all ran for refuge,” said Eva Rivera, whose son plays on the football team.
Joseph L. Jones, 37, of Millville was killed in the shooting. Jones was a youth football coach in the community.
“He meant a lot. He was always devoted his time helping out,” said Coach JT Burks.
Police say at least one masked suspect was seen leaving the scene in a maroon-colored sedan. That’s when police say someone inside that vehicle fired several shots at officers, near Garden Road on Route 55. Police did not return fire.
More than a hundred Millville youth football players, parents and coaches gathered Friday to mourn the loss of one of their own.
Rivera’s 12-year-old son Juan Romero has played for the league for the last six years. He and other teammates want to keep playing.
“I’m reassured that the community is trying to work together and I would like for the football to continue,” Rivera said.
The league’s president has temporarily suspended practice until further notice.
The Lakeside Middle School released this statement following Thursday’s shooting:
“The incident happened on City grounds (located behind our middle school) following a City midget football practice. There is no connection to Lakeside Middle School, our students, or our staff. It is now an active police investigation and we are cooperating in anyway we can to aid law enforcement. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and with any of the bystanders who may have witnessed this senseless act of violence.”
No arrests have been made.
Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 609-381-2046.