LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF/Gray News) — A woman was critically injured and two football teams and spectators were evacuated in a shooting before a junior high football game in North Carolina.
Police responded to a call reporting gunfire at Lumberton Senior High School’s football stadium just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to the WMBF.
Upon arrival, they found a 41-year-old woman with a gunshot wound in the parking lot. The victim was taken to the hospital by helicopter. Lumberton Police said her condition is currently “critical but stable”.
The police have not released their identity.
Witnesses to the football game reported hearing multiple gunshots and seeing a suspect dressed in black.
Video posted by Don Weller, a Robeson County public school teacher, shows the teams at an awards ceremony when gunfire and screams suddenly erupt in the background.
Moments later, the video shows players and teachers fleeing the field while several people shout for the students to come down.
At one point, Weller drops his phone, only for it to be picked up by a player, who then tells Weller to dismount near a fence.
Public Schools of Robeson County leadership made the decision during a meeting Thursday to add supplemental lighting for campuses, particularly in middle and high school parking lots, during home sporting events.
The additional lighting will make existing protocols of security checks at entrances and a police presence at the game safer, the district said in a statement.
“We will not tolerate this type of behavior on our campus, whether it occurs during the school day or after,” said Superintendent Dr. Freddie Williamson. “Safety is our top priority as we will take additional measures as necessary to ensure the safety of our students and the public on our campus during the Games.”
The district said employees followed proper safety protocols during the incident and law enforcement responded quickly.
“We ask the congregation to join us in prayer for the families of those affected, including bystanders and students. We also ask for prayers on behalf of the injured victim,” Williamson said.
Williamson said students and staff at St. Pauls Middle School and Lumberton Junior High School will receive additional support.
The suspect or suspects in the shooting remain at large.
The Lumberton Police Department and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the community’s help in investigating the shooting.
They are asking anyone who was at the game who may have seen anything or have video related to the shooting to contact the police department.
There is currently no further information about the suspect or suspects.
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