Man shot outside Exploria Stadium, in same location as 'Stop the Violence' march
ORLANDO, Fla. - Bullets rang out in broad daylight outside Exploria Stadium.
Orlando Police say a man was hit and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. At the time of this article’s writing, police had no suspect information to share and the shooter was still on the loose.
At the scene of the incident, around three dozen evidence markers littered the ground – many of them placed down beside bullet casings.
A few yards away stands New Image Youth Center.
Carmen Lafayette McClain volunteers there. She says she lost her brother to gun violence in the same area recently.
"They said that it was a drive-by. So it could’ve been anybody. I’m sorry. This is just a little too real, too close to home," she said, just before needing to pause to collect herself.
Lafayette McClain was inside the building when the bullets rang out around 3:30 in the afternoon. She pointed out, that’s right around when kids get out of school and head to the youth center.
"It’s a lot. It’s a lot of children – almost 75 children at one time," she explained. "This youth center is an at-risk youth center for the children in this neighborhood. We do a lot of activities indoor and out. We have classrooms we have to walk to, so having it so close – and with the recent shootings that have been happening – it’s very frightening."
Many of the kids at that youth center are all too familiar with the effects of gun violence.
But still, seeing it so close made them uneasy. Unyque King shouted out, "Black lives matter!" as investigators collected evidence.
"Y’all cannot be shooting because there’s a lot of kids out here. What if kids get hit? You see how many bullets are on that floor?" said King, gesturing to the shell casings on Parramore Avenue near Church Street.
"It could’ve hit one of these kids," added Khiley Nelson, who also goes to New Image Youth Center. "They could’ve died from just a simple accident. This is out of hand."
The area where that shooting happened is the same spot where just two weeks ago, the community marched to protest gun violence.