A 13-year-old boy says a bullet went flying by his head during his school’s baseball game Sunday.
The 'pop-pops' coming from the woods at first sounded like fireworks to 13-year-old Griffin, who was in the outfield of Patriot High School's baseball field. Then, he said he felt an object whizzing by his head and then saw it strike the dirt. The teen knew immediately it was a bullet and he started running toward the dugout.
Griffin, the center fielder for the Stars Baseball travel team, was playing in the championships against the Winchester Arsenal Sunday afternoon. The game started at 4 p.m. and the shooting started around 5 p.m.
The coaches quickly got the kids off the field and into the dugout for safety. The game was canceled.
"To have something like that happen is shocking," said Forrest, Griffin's dad. "I did call 911. I said there was a shooting, or that we heard shots fired. I said there were kids out in the field and that it was a dangerous situation."
Prince William County Police responded, and with rifles out, searched for the shooter. In property next to the baseball field, they found 19-year-old Milan Selaya-Espinoza at his residence. Officer Nathan Probus said their investigators determined the young man was target shooting with a rifle on private property, which is legal. But, because he was shooting in direction of the ball fields, he was charged with Reckless Handling of a Firearm, a misdemeanor.
Selaya-Espinoza was charged and released. It is not believed he meant to hurt anyone, but the incident scared players and family members watching.
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His mother, Angelica, said that he did not mean to hurt or scare anybody. She said he was shooting at aluminum cans and a watermelon.
"He didn't have any bad intention. But when the police came here, he was very, very scared. Because he didn't know about how dangerous it was," said Angelica, who did not want to give her last name. "My son is not a monster. He's a very nice guy. He has a job and goes to NOVA (Northern Virginia Community College) and is trying to make a better life."