PLEASANTVILLE, NJ (AP) – Six men have been charged after a shooting at a New Jersey high school football game that critically wounded a 10-year-old boy and sent players and the packed crowd fleeing in panic.
Ibn Abdullah, 27, was the target of the Friday night shooting and was charged because a gun was found on him when emergency responders went to his aid, authorities said. He is in stable condition and will be undergoing surgery.
The 10-year-old remained in critical condition Saturday. A 15-year-old boy was treated for a graze wound.
The shooting happened in the stands of a Friday night playoff game between the Camden Panthers and the Pleasantville Greyhounds. Authorities said it did not appear that any of the men charged had any connection to the game.
“Our community will not be held hostage by a few idiots intent on jeopardizing our safety and the safety of our children,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said in a news release.
Tyner said the shooting was “petty vengeance against one another.”
Alvin Wyatt, 31, of Atlantic City, was charged with three counts of attempted murder and two weapons counts. He was captured on the football field moments after the shooting by a Pleasantville officer who was part of the game’s security detail.
Three other men face weapons charges, and a fourth faces weapons and eluding charges.
It wasn’t known Saturday if any of the six have retained attorneys.
When the shots rang out, panicked spectators and some of the players knocked down a fence in their haste to escape the field. Some children were separated from their parents, and other parents held children tight to keep them from being run over by those fleeing, according to Jonathan Diego, who was at the game in Pleasantville, right outside Atlantic City.
“It was mayhem, literally people coming in waves running away,” said Diego, who helped coach a Pleasantville youth football team involved in a game in which three people were shot and wounded in 2005. All survived. That same team was practicing in 2015 when a spectator was shot but survived.
Diego said his friend, a retired paramedic, gave first aid to the young boy who was shot.
At least six gunshots are audible in a video from Jersey Sports Zone, which also shows players stop mid-play, look at the stands and then turn and run.
Officials said the game will resume Tuesday at a neutral field, with no spectators allowed.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy lamented the violence.
“Last night was a stark reminder that no community is immune from gun violence, and that we must not ever give up in our efforts to prevent such senseless acts,” Murphy said Saturday.