One of the nation’s most popular and successful youth track coaches suffered from an extraordinary scare when a former athlete turned coach approached him with weapon drawn during a post-event prayer circle, leaving some 100 athletes and parents looking on in disbelief.
As reported by South Florida ABC affiliate WPLG, Miami Gardens Xpress Track and Field coach Darius Lawshea was leading a full-program prayer circle when 33-year-old Charlie Anthony Brown, a friend of a former Xpress athlete, approached him wielding a firearm.
What happened next nearly escalated the incident into a shooting, per WPLG:
“He was like, ‘You know what it is. You better not step foot back on Miramar High track field or you’re dead,'” Lawshea said.
“He got very offended because I told him, ‘Yo, stop acting like that,'” Lawshea said. “One of my coaches got him and held him back and asked him, ‘You going to do this in front of the kids?’ Next thing you know, he ran off.”
Apparently Brown and his friend were offended when Lawshea showed up at Miramar’s track to pick up a student athlete. Instead, he was told to go away, with the coach and Brown holding on to their frustration that Lawshea had even showed up on campus.
While no one was hurt and Brown was later arrested — and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm — Lawshea is now concerned with the mental health of his student athletes, all of whom are of a very young and impressionable age.
“Now, I have to find some type of counseling for these kids and it’s sad, because we are a very successful program. This is actually our 10-year anniversary,” Lawshea told WPLG. “No argument should ever lead to gun violence, ever.”