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Gunfire disrupts games at nearby high school in Arlington

ARLINGTON -- Teenage gang members opened fire on rival gang members on an east Arlington street Wednesday night, abruptly ending high school soccer and baseball games at nearby Sam Houston High School.

No one was injured, but school officials "pulled everybody off the field into the building," Jimmy Womack, the Arlington school district's security chief, said Thursday.

Students initially thought they were hearing fireworks, one administrator said. People reported hearing as many as 20 shots, but police said Thursday that they don't have an accurate count.

One vehicle was struck by at least two bullets, Arlington gang Sgt. Don Pilcher said. "They were trying to hurt and maim," Pilcher said. "We're actively out trying to find them."

Police declined to name the gangs involved. Spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard said relations between groups "had been pretty calm" until Wednesday night's confrontation. "Gangs notoriously look for recognition for their acts, and we don't justify that by naming them," Richard said.

The same group was apparently involved in an earlier shooting at George Stevens Park, Richard said. The park is in north Arlington just west of Cowboys Stadium.

Police were called there shortly before 7 p.m. after a fight and shooting were reported.

"The suspects fled the scene before we arrived," Richard said. "Officers learned of the second shootings while investigating the shooting at the park."

Shots fired from vehicle

The shots that disrupted the games were fired about 8 p.m. from a vehicle in the 2700 block of Sherry Street near Timberview Lane.

O.J. Kemp, the Arlington school district's assistant athletic director, said a girls soccer game between Arlington's Bowie and Lamar high schools had just started when the gunfire began. The teams were playing on Wilemon Field in the 2000 block of Sam Houston Drive.

"All of a sudden, we were hearing shots," Kemp said. "We asked all the kids to get down. You just duck and cover."

The baseball game, which involved the Sam Houston team, was being played on a field on the far west side of the campus.

Parents and students were directed inside the school to the cafeteria, and after a short wait everyone was asked to leave in the direction away from where the shots were heard.

"We decided to reschedule the game because student safety will always be our No. 1 priority," Kemp said.

"Everybody is fine. The girls are a little shaken, but they are OK today."

The soccer game was rescheduled for 6 tonight at Lamar High School.

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SUSAN SCHROCK, 817-390-7639

NATHANIEL JONES, 817-390-7742

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