PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/CNN) – The senior pastor of a Riviera Beach church where two people were shot and killed after a funeral there on Saturday said he was aware that there was some tension among the family.
Riviera Beach police said the shooting happened near the Victory City Church, along W 20th Street near Avenue F, shortly after 2:30 p.m. They estimated that 13 rounds were fired shortly after the service concluded.READ MORE: Heat, Celtics now in a best-of-3 to decide the East title
A 47-year-old man, Royce Freeman, and 15-year-old Terrance Jackson, a sophomore who played defensive end for Deerfield Beach High School, were killed in the shooting. The service was for Jackson’s grandfather.
Jackson had reportedly decided not to go on a team trip to several colleges so he could attend his grandfather’s funeral.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench reported that social media was filled with tweets and posts about the football player. Coach John Cassaro said, “I don’t even know what to say.” Coach Adam Bernard said “So heartbroken. Love you T! Rest easy my boy.” Another person tweeted, “Been a crazy month for Broward. Rest in power, young bucks.”
Bernard also told CBS4 that he coached Jackson when he was in youth football with the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes. “He was a great kid,” Bernard said. “Coachable. Never disrespectful and committed. His parents raised him very well and he was a blessing to his coach and a blessing to be part of our family.”
That was a reference to the loss of another Deerfield Beach High School football player, Bryce Gowdy, who had been recruited by Georgia Tech. His December 30th death was ruled a suicide.
The Broward School District released a heartfelt statement about Jackson:
“A Deerfield Beach High School 10th grader, Terrence Jackson, lost his life this weekend. Terrence was a good student and a good athlete. He was a valued member of the football team and student body and will be deeply missed by his teammates, friends and teachers.”
The district added that it would provide counseling support for students at the high school starting Monday.
“We may not understand it all,” said Senior Pastor Tywuante Lupoe.READ MORE: 14 students, 1 teacher killed after shooter opens fire at Texas elementary school
Another victim, a woman, was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
“At a time when they’re laying to rest a loved one,” said Lupoe.
The shooting prompted Lupoe to post an update on Facebook explaining that the night before the funeral he found out that the service could be met with tension.
“We were aware of some of the potential escalation of this family. I did receive a phone call last night that there was some heated things going on between this particular family, we informed our staff here on the ground, on-site,” he said.
When the funeral ended, the armed guards pulled away from the property and that’s when the gunfire erupted.
The pastor called for prayers and peace for Riviera Beach.
“This is not a direct reflection upon this church, upon this ministry, upon the people in this community,” he said. “In fact, this family, even though this family may live within the community, I think this family just kind of lost sight of what real love is.”
Another man, initially identified as a fourth victim, was actually shot in an unrelated incident near Avenue East and West 20th Street in Riviera Beach. He too was taken to the hospital, no word on his condition.
Riviera Beach police say that this was not random and that the shooter and the victims knew each other. They say they believe this incident stemmed from a dispute between the gunman and members of the grandfather’s family. Police are still looking for the shooter.
D’Oench also spoke with a member of Freeman’s family in Boynton Beach. He declined to comment and said that Freeman was not related to Terrance Jackson.MORE NEWS: Study finds people will likely lose up to 58 hours of sleep by 2099
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