Dozens of children were playing in a neighborhood park Tuesday in East Palo Alto when a gun battle broke out between two groups of men.
At least 60 children were playing at the park when 33 shots rang out at 6:02 p.m., Police Chief Jeff Liu said.
The children ran for their lives through Jack Farrell Park as four victims, all adults, were shot from the horrific act of violence.
One man was killed in the shootout.
WARNING – Distressing Footage
A girl was recording video of herself playing a game of tag when a gun battle broke out in East Palo Alto Jack Farrell Park. Children ran for their lives as 33 shots were fired. 4 adults were shot.https://t.co/ptY1VhocQ7 pic.twitter.com/odGxSXwLV4
— Amy Larson (@AmyLarson25) May 18, 2022
The gunfire activated the East Palo Alto Police Department’s ShotSpotter alert system and officers rushed to the scene.
Police found 34-year-old Ralph Fields Jr. still breathing and suffering from fatal gunshots wounds in the park.
Fields is a cousin of Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams. Fields died before he made it to a hospital in an ambulance. Adams grew up in East Palo Alto and visited Jack Farrell Park two months ago to donate outdoor fitness equipment.
Two more shooting victims fled to a nearby firehouse for help from firefighter paramedics. A fourth victim ran into a house on Fordham Street. The three men are expected to survive, Liu said.
The gunmen are still at-large, the police chief said Wednesday.
A girl was recording a video of herself playing a game of tag with other kids in the park when the gun battle broke out.
The girl ran across a softball field with her cellphone video still rolling.
A flurry of gunshots can be heard in the background as the girl shouts, “Help me!”
A witness who asked to remain anonymous told KRON4, “That was my niece recording with some of my other nieces and nephews. She ran towards us at the softball field. Then the bullets came flying towards the softball field and bleachers where we were with all of our other kids.”
A second witness said he had taken children to the park for softball practice.
“While we were coaching and cheering for the kids we heard gunshots. Our first reaction was to duck. But so many of our kids were scattered around the field and the playground that some of us had to get up and run towards the gunfire to find them. One of the men involved in the shooting ran towards the baseball field as he was being shot at and bullets were flying in our direction hitting the bleachers we were ducking under with our kids. We’re so very fortunate that none of us were seriously injured. One of my cousins was grazed by a bullet in the back of the head but he’s okay,” the second witness told KRON4.
Mayor Ruben Abrica said, “All of the people who were there, young children, were traumatized by this. We will get through this. We will not tolerate this kind of violence.”
The police chief said none of the children in the park were physically injured, but “mentally, that’s a different story,” he added.
KTVU Fox 2 aired this video report: