Dandridge Parents Speak Out About Ball Park Shooting

The incident happened just after the 9,10 and 11 year old game while most people were headed to the parking lot, including dozens of youngsters.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel spoke with parents and counselors about ways to help your child cope with an incident like this.

No one, especially a child, should have to witness a murder, but in Dandridge Monday night, several kids saw the tragic events unfold right before their eyes, leaving parents to help them cope.

"Just not something you would expect to happen this close to home," neighbor Brian Whitley said.

For Brian Whitley, it happened right in his backyard. His property joins Field of Dreams ballpark.

"You could tell just something wasn't right up here," Whitley said.

When he and his buddy saw lights and heard sirens, they became interested.

"As we came up, we saw a lot of people in the parking lot, people who had already left the ballgame," Brian's friend Matt Grigsby said.

And that means dozens of kids were there to witness it all.

"This was a very random act and this was between family members and this person wasn't out to get other people in the area, is reassuring," child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Michael Hughes said.

Throughout the day, several people drove to the field. Some wondering if this week's games were canceled, others just curious.

"I'm sure my son knows this child and is going to be familiar with what...and trying to imagine what he's going through with losing three grandparents," Tamara Allen of Dandridge said.

As the incident happened at the end of the crosswalk, parents and coaches kept kids here in this parking lot to help shield them from a situation they should never have to witness.

"A lot of times there's panic or fear on the side of the kids. They wonder if it will happen at home or if they will go out to the store and something bad will happen," Hughes said.

Dr. Hughes says to avoid that, talk to your kids openly.

"Instead of hiding the information, go on and tell them it's happened. Be honest, but simple," Hughes said.

Whitley says that's easier said than done.

"We don't know how we are going to go about talking to the kids about this," Whitley said. "I don't want them afraid to come up here, to think they need to be afraid up here. I don't think something like this should scar this program."

Doctor Hughes also says if your child starts showing signs that this incident is effecting multiple areas of their life, seek professional help, otherwise simply talking openly about it should be enough. Also, to give kids time to cope, coaches have canceled all games for this week. Regular schedule resumes Monday.


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