The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa.
At least two people were hurt when shots were fired in Pleasantville during a high school football playoff game on Friday night between Pleasantville High School and Camden High School, authorities said.
A young boy and an adult male were wounded in the 8:30 p.m. shooting, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said at an 11 p.m. press conference.
The child was flown to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for treatment and the adult was taken to Atlanticare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, Tyner said. He said he did not know if their injuries were life-threatening but did call them “serious.”
No arrests had been made, Tyner said.
The game was suspended following the shooting, which occurred on the Pleasantville side of the field during the third quarter. Camden was leading, 6-0.
Agents from the New Jersey office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms said in a 9:30 p.m. tweet that they were responding to scene.
Neal Loch, a retired Pleasantville Fire Department battalion chief, told NJ Advance Media he helped get the child to the hospital.
“Once I heard the shots and everyone started running … I started running the other way, because I knew what it was, there were too many people and someone had to get hit,” Loch said.
“Pop, pop, pop. At least a half dozen shots in Pleasantville bleachers,” NJ Advance Media sports reporter Kevin Minnick, who was covering the game, tweeted after hearing the gunfire.
“With approximately five minutes left in the third quarter, I heard multiple gunshots coming from the Pleasantville bleachers. At that point, everyone was just screaming to get down,” Minnick said moments later.
“Fans scrambled, and there was a lot of screaming. I’ve been doing this for better than 30 years and this is the first time I’ve experienced something like this first hand,” he said.
EMTs were seen attending to people in the Pleasantville bleachers and two ambulances were seen driving off the field. Referees dropped to the turf until the gunshots stopped.
“This was the most well-attended high school football game for this school in years, so there are many witnesses to the incident that are currently being interviewed,” Tyner said. “This is a tragic situation, to say the least, on the heels of what just happened in Santa Clarita, Calif. It has hit home here in Pleasantville, N.J., and it is very disturbing to say the least.”
Pleasantville athletic director Stephen Townsend, visibly distraught, said: “I have no comment. I’m just disappointed.”
Camden Schools said in a tweet and later statement: “We are able to confirm that no Camden High students were injured or otherwise harmed during the incident.”
“All we can do as coaches is make sure our kids are safe,” Camden High School football coach Dwayne Savage told NJ Advance Media. “I have parents calling me, asking if their son is safe. We just wanted to make sure our kids were safe and worry about the details later.”
Pleasantville football player Keon Henry told NJ Advance Media that he heard the shots, which he first thought were “firecrackers” and then fled from the field to nearby houses for safety.
“All the coaches were telling us, ‘Get down!’ but we didn’t want to get down, we wanted to get somewhere safe,” Henry said.
Henry said he knows that shootings happen in the area but he “never thought it would happen at a high school football game.”
“I’m still shocked,” he said.
Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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