1 injured in shooting outside North Carolina junior high football game
LUMBERTON, N.C. (WMBF/Gray News) - A shooting outside a junior high football game in North Carolina left one woman critically injured and sent two football teams and spectators running for safety.
Police responded to a call just before 8 p.m. Wednesday of reported gunfire at Lumberton Senior High School football stadium, according to WMBF.
Upon their arrival, they found a 41-year-old woman suffering from a gunshot wound in the parking lot. The victim was taken by helicopter to the hospital. Lumberton police said her condition is “critical but stable” at this time.
Police have not released her identity.
Witnesses at the football game reported hearing multiple gunshots and said they saw a suspect wearing black clothing.
A video taken by Don Weller, a teacher for the Public Schools of Robeson County, shows the teams at a trophy ceremony when all of a sudden gunshots and screaming are heard in the background.
Moments later, the video shows players and teachers fleeing the field as multiple people shout for students to get down.
At some point, Weller drops his phone, only for it to be picked up by a player who then tells Weller to get down near a fence.
The Public Schools of Robeson County leadership made the decision during a meeting Thursday to add additional lighting for campuses, especially in parking lot areas at middle and high schools, during home sporting events.
The additional lighting will add security to the preexisting protocols of security checks at entrances and a police presence at the game, the district said in a statement.
“We’re not going to tolerate that kind of behavior on our campuses whether it occurs during the school day or after,” said Superintendent Dr. Freddie Williamson. “Safety is our top priority as we will place additional measures necessary to ensure the safety of our students and the public on our campuses during games.”
The district said proper safety protocols were followed by staff during the incident and law enforcement agencies responded quickly.
“We ask the community to join us in prayer for the families of those affected including spectators and students. We also ask for prayers on behalf of the victim who was injured,” Williamson said.
Williamson said extra support will be provided for students and staff at St. Pauls Middle School and Lumberton Junior High School.
The suspect or suspects in the shooting remain at large.
The Lumberton Police Department and Robeson County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the community’s help with the investigation into the shooting.
They are asking anyone who was at the game and may have witnessed anything or have video related to the shooting to contact the police department.
No further information on the suspect or suspects is currently available.
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