Chaos, panic after gunshots erupted during high school championship football game – CBS San Francisco
CAMPBELL (CBS SF) – When the 10 shots first sounded, many thousands of fans and players didn’t hear them due to the roar of excitement from a touchdown that had just been scored in the game CCS Division 1 Championship Friday night between St Lycées Francis and Serra.
But moments later, there was fear, panic, and chaos.
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“We just started running and taking shelter and getting behind tents that we were in,” said Serra High head coach Patrick Walsh. “It was a chaotic scene. It was scary.”
Penelope Correa was a student caught in the cover race.
“All of a sudden you heard at least five gunshots and not everyone really knew what it was at first, then all the students dispersed and started running towards the back of the house. ‘school, that’s when the teams fell (on the pitch), ”Correa told KPIX. “I was running to the back of the school without even knowing where I was going.”
Two men suffered non-life threatening injuries in the shooting in the parking lot at Campbell’s Westmont High, the neutral site chosen to host the game.
Investigators have not disclosed any information about the suspects or whether the shooting was even related to gambling.
But the nerves remained alive for hours after the competition.
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“There is no manual for this,” Walsh said. “There are some pieces that we ended up performing that night. But sure, it wasn’t something everyone was prepared for.
According to reports, more than 5,000 tickets were sold for the game between rivals WCAL. Serra had just climbed 16-12 with 2:18 left when the sound of shots rang out.
In the stands, the fans froze for a moment. Sierra players rushed off the field, St. Francis players dived to the ground for cover.
“All the fans started flocking,” said Matt Halmo, who was in attendance to cheer on Saint Francis. “And everyone was afraid there would be a stampede. And that’s when everyone got very nervous. We didn’t know what was going on. Because all the reports said there was someone shooting in the stadium.
“We had people screaming ‘don’t rush, don’t run’,” added Halmo. “Lots of people got up and controlled the crowd which was great.”
CCS commissioner Dave Grissom told the San Jose Mercury News officials were also caught off guard.
“Nothing really prepares you (for something like this) until you’re in the throes of it,” CCS commissioner Dave Grissom told the newspaper. “It took us a while to figure out if this was an active shooter… (or) if it was fireworks, firecrackers.”
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SCC officials resumed the game at 9:36 p.m. after police gave the go-ahead. Serra won by a margin of 16-12.