Kumler Field

Yakima School District officials said Kumler Field near Davis High School, seen above in 2015, will be closed to the publics because of increasing gang activity in the neighborhood.

Kumler Field near Davis High School has been permanently closed to the public after a fatal shooting in the neighborhood Monday.

Owned by the Yakima School District, the field is used for Davis High School football and track practices, as well as track meets in the spring. It is less than a mile away from the high school, where additional sports complexes are used for soccer and baseball practices, among other extra-curricular activities.

In the past, Kumler Field has been open outside of school events, said district communications director Kirsten Fitterer. But after a fatal Monday shooting in the 700 block of South Ninth Avenue, the district has elected to close it to the public effective Wednesday, Oct. 9.

“Students involved in the shooting did pass through that park during sports practice, so it’s just a little too close for comfort,” Fitterer said. “In the eyes of safety for our students, we are making progress right now in closing that to the public.”

Public access moving forward would be considered trespassing, she said. The school district plans to have a police presence at the field during sporting activities and intends to add fencing and video surveillance, Fitterer said.

Fitterer said the district has been considering closing the field to the public for some time because of increasing gang activity in the neighborhood. Maintenance staff also regularly find used needles on the grounds.

The tipping point came after Monday’s shooting about two blocks away killed 20-year-old Matthew I. Munoz of

Toppenish. Two others were injured in the incident, which police believe was gang-related.

Reach Janelle Retka at jretka@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @janelleretka