A chilling video of an incident in North Charleston, South Carolina, showing dozens of kids and adults scrambling for cover as a barrage of gunshots rings out has left a community traumatized.
In the video, as gunfire is heard, a frightening scene unfolds Monday night at the Dixie Youth league baseball game, leaving players, coaches, and parents running for safety. The video was taken by Lori Ferguson, a parent at the game, The Post and Courier reports.
North Charleston police report that no one was injured, according to ABC News-4, but one of the team’s coaches took immediate action to petition that games no longer be played in North Charleston due to recent violence in the area.
RELATED STORY: Report: 2020 marks first time guns were the leading cause of death for kids and teens
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Witnesses told officers that prior to the gunshots, several teens pulled into the parking lot next to the baseball field and began fighting.
Blake Ferguson told WCSC-5 News he believes he heard between 50 to 75 shots before the teens drove off.
“And then all of a sudden, boom, boom, and ‘Get down, everybody, get down!’ And you’re at a park. My kids are not with me directly and you just see everybody scattering,” Lori Ferguson told WCSC. “And my son’s on the pitcher mound by himself and it was just the most traumatic thing as a mother, as a citizen of this city, that you just feel helpless. I felt completely helpless.”
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Ferguson says she was disappointed by the police response, telling WCSC that none of the officers came to the field to check on families or players, adding that her children were “traumatized” by the incident.
“Now, I understand we could walk down the street, something could happen. We could be at church, something can happen. One-hundred percent understand that,” she told WCSC. “My kids asked me where the police were to protect them. They didn’t want to take a shower, in our own home, because now they’re traumatized by what happened tonight.”
A spokesman for the North Charleston Police Department, Harve Jacobs, told The Post and Courier that “NCPD officers are actively investigating this incident to the fullest extent of the law and will do everything in their power to locate and arrest the individuals involved in this heinous and reckless act.” He added, “We will leave no stone unturned in bringing these suspects to justice.”
According to Count on News-2, North Charleston Police Department reports that there have been 11 homicides in 2022 so far.
“The ages of the victims and the alleged killers have gotten very young and that’s very scary because the younger and younger these gentlemen get we have to start asking ourselves what type of culture are we embracing,” Shakem Ahket, the co-founder of the Community Resource Center, told Count on News-2.
This latest event comes as a recent report from the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention (IFIP) found that in 2020, gun violence became the second leading cause of death among children and teens in the U.S.
The “change was driven largely by firearm homicides, which saw a 33.4% increase,” the report reads.
Dr. Jason Goldstick, a researcher with IFIP and co-author of the letter, told The Guardian, “We knew gun violence had increased, but I was surprised by the level of increase for just one year … I can’t remember ever seeing that before.”