Atlantic County officials said shots rang out in the third quarter of a game played in Pleasantville between the Pleasantville and Camden high school teams, according to WPVI-TV of Philadelphia.
Police recovered a firearm in connection with their investigation but there was no immediate word about a suspect, FOX 29 of Philadelphia reported.
A young boy was shot while sitting in the stands, officials said. He was rushed to an area hospital, and his condition was not immediately known. There was also no confirmed information about his age. An adult male was also wounded and taken off the field in an ambulance.
“It was mayhem,” witness Jonathan Diego said. “A wave of people coming away from the shooting. You saw parents holding their babies and their little children to make sure that they weren’t injured.”
“It was mayhem. A wave of people coming away from the shooting. You saw parents holding their babies and their little children to make sure that they weren’t injured.”
— Jonathan Diego, witness
Diego said during the chaos he saw someone applying pressure to a “little boy’s wounds” to slow the bleeding.
Camden football coach Dwayne Savage later gave his view of what happened.
“They were punting the ball to us, and the ball was rolling on the ground when we heard the gunshots from the home stands,” Savage told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Players started running off the field. I jumped onto the ground with some other coaches and players. We got everyone to the bus as soon as we could, and we left. We heard one child and one adult were injured.”
Gunfire can be heard in the background of a video posted by Jersey Sports Zone. Spectators are later seen fleeing for safety, then emergency responders arrive to treat the wounded.
There was no immediate word about arrests. None of the players or referees was hurt, the Inquirer reported.
The Camden City School District in a statement said that no students from Camden High School were “injured or otherwise harmed.”
“We just heard the gunshots and we all just started running for this fence right here and just jumped through the fence and tried to run inside the gym,” Pleasantville football player Ernest Howard, 17, told the Inquirer. “We didn’t turn back. We just ran.”
“People running, jumping fences, laying on the ground,” is how one sports reporter covering the game described the scene.
“This is a tragic situation, to say the least on the heels of what just happened in Santa Clarita, California,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said at a news conference. “It has hit home here in Pleasantville, N.J. and it is very disturbing, to say the least.”
He said the investigation is ongoing.