As gunshots rang out near a recent Little League game in North Charleston, S.C., every kid in sight knew how to act immediately. The game was no longer important. Get down and wait until the adults around them have deemed it’s safe to get up from sprawling on the ground. And try to stay alive.
The shooting occurred Monday night, according to WCSC, with eyewitnesses reporting multiple cars pulling into a nearby parking lot and their occupants beginning to fight before the gunfire broke out. The video was reportedly taken by the pitcher’s father, Blake Ferguson. Thankfully, no injuries were reported from the incident and a police investigation is underway.
Updated on Wednesday, April 24: North Charleston mayor Keith Summey said the city is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individuals involved in Monday’s shooting. Summey added that law enforcement will be increased around the city’s athletic facilities and the city would purchase more than 750 security cameras.
North Charleston Police Assistant Chief Greg Gomes said at a Tuesday press conference a police officer was at the scene of the shooting less than a minute after gunfire began but the suspects had already left the park. Police found three firearms either at or close by the park after the shooting. Shell casings were also recovered in the parking lot.
In the video, you can hear around 50 gunshots while seeing kids running off screen and crouching on the ground. Parents can be heard frantically directing the children around them to “Get off the field!” and “Crawl that way!” to avoid any gunfire. After the shooting ended, multiple parents’ vehicles had been struck by bullets.
“Several youth baseball games were underway when this incident occurred. This incident tonight had nothing to do with the park, youth athletes, parents or coaches. Thankfully no injuries were reported,” North Charleston police spokesperson Harve Jacobs told WMBF.
This December will mark 10 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, ushering in an era where America’s youth has grown accustomed to mass shooting readiness. That’s opposed to having those incidents where innocent lives can be lost happening less frequently.
That emotional trauma is the price kids have to pay because of America’s loose gun laws, where the shooting in South Carolina will be far from an isolated occurrence. North Charleston Police planned to meet with city employees to come up with a safety plan “to ensure that our city’s youth can feel safe when playing on our parks and playgrounds,” Jacobs said, per WMBF.