A man with a handgun was killed by police Monday morning after shooting inside Duncanville Fieldhouse, where about 150 children were attending summer camp, Duncanville police say.

Police said no children, staff or officers were injured.

Around 8:45 a.m., police received phone calls about a person with a gun who had fired shots in the fieldhouse, a city facility at 1700 S. Main St., police said. of Duncanville during a live press conference.

The field’s summer camp, an indoor sports and fitness center, welcomes an average of 250 children per day from 4 to 14 years old. The campers were locked in rooms after the initial report of gunshots and then evacuated from the building, authorities said.

Officers arrived at the lodge about two minutes after being called, entered the building, found the armed suspect and confronted him, police said at an early morning news conference. The shooter was shot by officers in an exchange of gunfire and later died in a hospital, police said.

At another press conference on Monday afternoon, police said the man entered the building through the main lobby doors and initially fired a shot after exchanging words with a member of staff. Police did not say whether the man and the staff member knew each other or what had been said between them.

Camp counselors went through their training and moved the children to safe areas and began locking the gates, police said. The suspect fired a shot from outside a locked classroom in the room, where children were present but not injured, police said.

The suspect then proceeded to the gymnasium but did not fire any shots there until officers arrived, police said. The children were removed from the area before officers confronted the suspect in the gymnasium and exchanged gunfire with him, killing him, the police statement said.

Authorities have not publicly identified the suspect and referred questions about him to the Texas Rangers Monday afternoon, citing the ongoing investigation. Police said earlier it was unclear whether the man was targeting someone in the fieldhouse, or what led to the incident, Star-Telegram media partner WFAA-TV reported.

Camp counselor Naomi Rodgers told KXAS-TV she was working with a group of about 40 children when they heard the first shot.

“We had to move them all over the room because the building is glass and we had to find a safe space,” Rodgers told KXAS. “The shooter actually came to our door…and he said if we didn’t let him see who he wanted to see, he was going to shoot the place.”

A person with a gun was killed by police at Duncanville Fieldhouse on Monday morning, when around 150 children were attending summer camp, Duncanville police say. WFAA-TV

Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon told the WFAA police responded within two minutes and within 10 minutes they had shot and killed the suspect.

The officers recently underwent active shooter training, the mayor said.

“Our officers didn’t hesitate,” Gordon told the WFAA. “They did what they were trained to do and saved lives.”

Tomisha Johnson, whose daughter is a staff member at the day camp, told KDFW-TV that camp counselors heard gunshots and immediately helped the children to take shelter in another part of the building.

“As a parent, that’s the worst call you want to hear, especially where your child is,” Johnson told KDFW. “It’s getting to the point where it feels like an everyday situation. We hear so many active shootings, like every day. It’s ridiculous. I don’t know what will have to happen to make it stop. But all our babies were trying to do was have fun.

The shooting happened less than three weeks after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24.

“We obviously understand what happened south of us,” Duncanville Deputy Police Chief Matthew Stogner said at the afternoon press conference. “I can only speak for how we reacted here, and we did an exceptional job.”

Police said the lot was cleared Monday morning and parents could pick up the children at the Duncanville Recreation Center at 201 James Collins Blvd.

Michael Strickland, whose grandchildren were at summer camp, told the WFAA he saw news of the shooting on Facebook and rushed to the field.

“This world we live in now, it’s unpredictable,” Strickland said. “There are two forces, good and evil. This clearly shows which side this incident is on.

Duncanville is in southern Dallas County, about 30 miles east of Fort Worth.

Police blocked a black SUV in the lot’s parking lot with crime scene tape and were investigating the vehicle, video from the scene shows.

This story was originally published June 13, 2022 11:27 a.m.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Related Stories

David Silva Ramirez is a multimedia generalist journalist at Star-Telegram. He grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and is passionate about covering government, education, local communities and cool features. You can contact David at [email protected] or on Twitter @ByDavidSilvaR.