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Panic at California youth soccer game: Man with camouflage duffel ignites stampede

What started as a scuffle between two boys was whipped into a panic that sent dozens of people fleeing reports of a shooter at a Southern California soccer field.

The incident occurred Sunday, the second day of a youth tournament at Galway Downs in Temecula, TV station KGTV said.

A 10-year-old player on the field was reportedly shoved by an older boy who had run in from the sideline. Other spectators then began running onto the field, and some adults got involved in the brawl.

One of those adults aroused fears, parent Erik Saur told KGTV:

“He rushes to the sideline and he pulls out a camouflage backpack. Someone’s telling him, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it.’ … We’re like, what’s going on? This guy must have a weapon.”

Saur said he grabbed his 9-year-old daughter and started running for the parking lot, as did dozens of others.

“They were screaming, ‘Gun! Gun! Run! Run!’ … And so I just grabbed my kid. I held her in front of me, because I didn’t know if somebody was shooting. … You’re just thinking, oh my god, I got to get my kid. I got to get out of here.”

Player Luis Cruz gave KGTV a similar account: “Everyone screamed ‘run!’ … We all did and ended up on the other side of the fence huddled in the bushes with our coach and the team we were playing against.”

Temecula County sheriff’s deputies responded and detained the man with the duffel. It was determined he did not have a weapon.

The 10-year-old who was shoved by the older boy suffered a minor head injury, his father said.

As of Monday, nobody had been arrested in connection with the brawl.

Source: East Bay Panic at California youth soccer game: Man with camouflage duffel ignites stampede

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