Man, young boy injured in shooting at high school football game

PLEASANTVILLE, New Jersey -- Two people including a young boy were seriously injured when shots rang out at a high school football game Friday night.

Eyewitness News was there as a gunman unleashed a fury of bullets about 8:30 p.m. during the third quarter of a playoff game between the Camden Panthers and the Pleasantville Greyhounds.

Panicked spectators and some of the players knocked down a fence in their haste to escape the confines of the field.

One of the wounded was a young boy who was apparently sitting in the stands. He was airlifted to a children's hospital in Philadelphia "with some serious injuries," Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said.

Witnesses say at least half a dozen shots were fired from the bleachers.

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"It was mayhem, literally people coming in waves running away" said Jonathan Diego, who played for the Pleasantville team in 1984. Diego helped coach a Pleasantville youth football team involved in a game against an Atlantic City team in which three spectators were shot and wounded in 2005. All three survived.

That same Jokers team was practicing in 2015 when a spectator was shot, but survived.

"Unfortunately, around here it's not as uncommon as it sounds," Diego said.

He described a panicked scene as some children were separated from their parents, and other parents held babies and young children tight to keep them from being run over by fleeing spectators.

Tim Athl Sr. was sitting in the parking lot watching the game.

"I was watching everybody running then I got out to see what was going on," Athl told Action News.

Tyner, the prosecutor, told The Associated Press the shooting took place on the Pleasantville side of the bleachers. No one had been arrested as of late Friday, and authorities were investigating whether more than one shooter might have been involved.

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Raw video: At least two people were injured Friday night in a shooting at a high school football game in Pleasantville, New Jersey.



Authorities did not identify shooting victims, but said both are listed in serious condition.

Diego said his friend, a retired paramedic, gave first aid to a young boy who had suffered a gunshot wound to the neck.

"He applied pressure to the little boy's wounds on his neck, trying to slow down the bleeding until the ambulance could come up," Diego said.

The boy was flown by helicopter to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The adult shooting victim was taken to AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center in nearby Atlantic City.

A statement from the Camden City School District said no Camden High School students "were injured or otherwise harmed."

"We're doing everything we can to make sure their families and they are getting the medical care that they need," said Pleasantville Police Chief Sean Riggins.

Investigators won't say if the victims are related, but did say a firearm was recovered.

They are working to track down the shooter.

"Everybody was so uplifted about what was going on in the city of Pleasantville and this had to happened," Mayor Jesse Tweedle Sr. said.

Pleasantville is about seven miles west of Atlantic City. Its high school team won its first division title in 43 years this season, and the stands were packed.

In a press conference, Tyner referenced a Thursday shooting at a Southern California high school, where a 16-year-old boy killed two students and wounded three others. The shooter died Friday.

"This is a tragic situation, to say the least, on the heels of what just happened in Santa Clarita, California," Tyner said. "It has hit home here in Pleasantville, New Jersey, and it is very disturbing, to say the least."

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The Pleasantville-Camden game was suspended.

"It was a real good game and it's sad it ended like this," Athl said. "I just hope whoever got shot will be able to recover."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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