North Charleston, South Carolina, officials are offering a $10,000 reward after dozens of shots were fired in the parking lot of a city baseball field during a youth game Monday evening.
Video shot by a player’s parent shows the children looking around in confusion as the first volley of shots is heard. Players and coaches dropped to the ground for safety, and parents could be heard calling for their children. No one was hurt in the shooting.
Mayor Keith Summey said his office is offering the reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooters.
“I am offering a $10,000 reward not for the conviction, but for the arrest of the individuals that were here in this parking lot, fighting and shooting each other while children were out here playing ball,” Summey said. “We will not tolerate it.”
An officer in the area arrived in less than a minute after hearing the shots fired, but the suspects had already left the scene, North Charleston Police Assistant Chief Greg Gomes said at a Tuesday news conference.
Police found one firearm at the scene and two others that “were discarded in proximity of the park. Probably by individuals that were involved,” Gomes said.
Shell casings were also recovered in the parking lot and some of the vehicles in the lot were hit by gunfire.
Police are testing the weapons to see if they were used in the shooting.
Lori and Blake Ferguson said their son was pitching when the shooting started. Blake Ferguson posted the video of the incident on Facebook.
“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 CNN affiliate 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.”
The shooting had nothing to do with the baseball game or a practice that was happening in the park, according to the mayor.
“The people that were out here shooting at each other weren’t here to watch a ball game,” Summey said. “They came to a secluded area to carry out a fight that started somewhere else and ended up shooting at each other.”
He said the city would increase its police presence in the community and increase enforcement in an effort to get guns off the street.
Officials said police officers would be stationed at baseball fields when activities are being held.
North Charleston police are also investigating another shooting that occurred early Tuesday morning about a half-mile away from the park, but said they do not know if the two incidents are related. No one was injured in that shooting.