PLEASANTVILLE — At least two people were wounded after someone fired a gun during Friday’s Pleasantville-Camden Central Jersey Group II high school football playoff game.
The gunman fired about a half dozen shots from the Pleasantville bleachers in the third quarter, sending spectators ducking for cover while players from both teams sprinted off the field.
“As soon as we heard the shots, we made sure the players got off the field safely,” Greyhounds assistant coach Chris Mancuso said.
Police Chief Sean Riggin said there were two victims, one juvenile and one adult, but did not release their names. He also declined to say whether a suspect was in custody.
"We have two victims who were seriously injured," Riggin said. "They are alive at this moment, and we are doing everything to make sure that they and their families are getting the medical care that they need."
A spokeswoman for the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said the office is investigating but would have no further comment at this time.
According to former Pleasantville athletic director Derek Carrington, who was watching from the other end of the bleachers, the gunman ran out of the stands and across the field toward the parking lot.
Camden was leading Pleasantville 6-0 with 4 minutes, 58 seconds left in the third quarter when the gunfire erupted.
An unidentified male juvenile was carried into an ambulance on a stretcher while people screamed and cried.
An unidentified adult male was also carried out of the stands on a stretcher and was being attended to on the field by emergency medical personnel before being taken away in another ambulance.
Attorney Jonathan Diego and retired Pleasantville Fire Department Battalion Chief Neal Loch were standing at the opposite end of the bleachers when the shots were fired.
"I saw the crowd running one way and my instincts kicked in and I ran the other way (toward the shots) to try and help (the juvenile victim)," Loch said.
Longtime fans and former players estimated Friday’s crowd was the largest to attend a Pleasantville football game in at least 20 years.
"My friend (Diego) and I had just finished a radio interview and we were saying how great it was that such a big crowd was here," Loch said. "Then this had to happen."
Hundreds of fans raced with the players toward the school and tried to scale the fences. Derek Carrington and his brother David helped them get to safety.
“We must have helped 15-20 people get over the fence,” Derek Carrington said. “One woman came up to me and asked me to ‘please help her son.’ I just can’t believe something like this happened.”
After the stands were cleared, a Pleasantville police officer guarded the bleachers while carrying a rifle.
Fans hurried out of the stands and into the parking lot, leaving blankets, coats and maroon-and-silver pompoms in the bleachers. A sneaker and a boot were on the track just behind the Greyhounds bench.
After the area was cleared, police cordoned off a section of the bleachers with yellow tape and combed in and under the stands for clues.
“This whole situation is such a shame. I guarantee you the cheerleaders and players are going to be traumatized by this,” Derek Carrington said.
Staff Writer Ahmad Austin contributed to this report.