Police increase reward for arrest of suspected shooter at Benton Middle flag football games

Two men were shot during youth football games at Benton Middle School on Hoadly Road, Sunday morning, May 1, 2022. (InsideNova/Paul Lara)

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Police have announced a new $5,000 reward in the search for the suspected gunman in Sunday’s double shooting during youth league football games at Benton Middle School.

Isaiah Malik Gordon, 23, of Harwood Oaks Court in Dumfries, is wanted on two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, possession of firearm on school grounds, two counts of use of a firearm during a felony and two counts of use of a firearm while on school grounds, Prince William County Police Master Officer Renee Carr.

Attempts to find Gordon have been unsuccessful.

Police said that through a partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an additional $5,000 reward is being offered in connection to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. The Police Department is also offering up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

The athletic fields at Benton Middle School were packed with kids and families Sunday morning for a day of youth-league touch football when gunshots rang out.

Prince William County firefighter Josh Owens, there to cheer on his son, was among a handful of good Samaritans who first made sure their families were safe, then rushed back toward the fields to help any victims.

“While under clear threat of a shooter on the loose, Josh controlled the bleeding of a critically injured individual and rushed them to awaiting medic units,” Prince William Professional Firefighters said of Owens’ actions.

He was among several “heroic civilians and off-duty emergency service personnel” who put themselves in danger to help the victim, one of two men shot at the field Sunday morning, the firefighters’ union said in an email to InsideNoVa.

Police say the shooting resulted from an argument between three acquaintances outside the school at 7411 Hoadly Road in central Prince William County. Hundreds of people were at the fields for youth flag football games scheduled under the 703 United Youth Sports league. The players ranged in age from 5 to 12 years old.

Owens declined an interview request from InsideNoVa. The union said he was spending time with his family Monday.

“Josh wants to reiterate that it was the combined efforts of many that led to the outcome. His thoughts and prayers are with the two victims and numerous innocent witnesses that will forever be affected,” the union said in the email.

Witnesses described coaches scrambling to keep children safe, covering them with their own bodies or directing them to the wood line to hide.

“We were at the bottom of the hill practicing,” one witness said of the scene. “We heard three shots, everybody froze and then we quickly ran to the woods.”

Other witnesses said children were frightened and traumatized, but none were physically injured.

The league’s coach, Joe Blount, declined to comment, but in a statement posted on Facebook Sunday, 703 United Sports thanked adults who rendered aid to the victim and “were able to quickly get children to safety until first responders arrived.”

“We want to be clear that 703 United Youth Sports and its affiliates condemn violence of any kind, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and victims of today’s senseless incident,” the statement read.

Police said the victim Owens helped, a 24-year-old man, suffered life-threatening injuries but he is now expected to survive. The other victim, a 33-year-old man, was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries prior to police arriving, she said.

Detectives believe the two victims got into an argument with Gordon, who they know, and the Gordon pulled out a gun and fired “multiple rounds,” striking them both, Prince William County Police Master Officer Renee Carr said.

During a search outside the school, police found a firearm which was collected for further processing, Carr said.

Anyone with information on Gordon’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Prince William County Police Department tipline at 703-792-7000 or by submitting a tip online to pwcva.gov/policetip.

Sunday’s violence came two weeks after another very public shooting at the Woodbridge Kiwanis Club carnival at Gar-Field High School on April 15. A 14-year-old girl suffered non-life threatening injuries during the incident, which caused mass chaos outside the school on Smoketown Road. Police have not announced any arrests in the case.

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