Supporters at a high school football game in New Jersey were forced to run to safety when gunfire broke out.
The match between home team the Pleasantville Greyhounds and the Camden Panthers had attracted a good family crowd when shots were heard at 8:30pm on a friendly Friday evening, an hour outside of Philadelphia.
And while a 27-year-old man was left needing surgery he was confirmed to be in a stable condition. However, the police found a gun in his possession and he now faces weapons charges over the incident.
A 15-year-old boy was also treated in hospital for a graze wound.
Unfortunately 10-year-old Micah Tennant was also caught in the crossfire and sadly passed away from his injuries in hospital just 5 days later.
Police have already arrested and charged five suspects in connection with the shooting with Alvin Wyatts being charged with murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Wyatt’s accomplices – Tyrell Dorn, 28; Vance Golden, 26; Michael Mack, 27 and Shahid Dixon, 27 – have also faced charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to possess a weapon.
Damon G. Tyner, Atlantic County Prosecutor announced:
‘We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Tennant family on the tragic passing of Micah. Words at this time seem so insufficient to portray the anger and outrage that our community feels regarding his loss. However, his spirit will live on in so many people.’
A ‘devastated’ Gov. Phil Murphy also released a statement announcing:
‘No child deserves to have their promising life cut short, especially by indiscriminate and senseless gun violence. No parent deserves to bury their child. We will hold [Michah’s] memory close, and we will remember his name, as we continue our work to make New Jersey safer for all of our families.’
A Facebook post by the Pleasantville Police Department confirmed they were sending their ‘deepest sympathy’ and ‘strongest possible support’ to Micah’s family.
In response to the postponed game, the neutral ground of The Philadelphia Eagles hosted the suspended playoff match.
And only hours after young Micah lost his life, Lincoln Financial Field Stadium held a moment’s silence in his memory, with both teams locking arms and some athletes wearing the number 10 out of respect on their uniforms.
The stadium’s announcer informed spectators ‘our thoughts are with his family, his loved ones and all impacted by this news. Today, we join Micah’s family and this community to demonstrate that acts of violence do not win’.
The scoreboard then had 4:58 entered to show how much time had been left of the game before it was brutally cut short, a reminder that it does not matter where you are, no venue is safe from gun violence.
A stark difference to the words the young players often hear from their coaches. With sport being used as a tool to keep teens away from gang culture, Camden’s coach Dwayne Savage revealed how ‘we always preach to our guys, that’s our safe haven. We forget about all our problems on the football field.’
A GoFundMe page was created to raise much needed medical funds for ‘Dew’ as he was affectionately known and has already had over $30,000 donated. However the news of his death has seen money continue to pour in.
CNN affiliate WPVI appears to show the chaos in the aftermath of the shooting, with both athletes and attendees running away from the gunfire. As well as diving under bleachers and hopping over fences, some people were seen lying down on the field.
Sadly with an apparent increase in gun crime this incident is not a rarity and Micah Tennat was not the only casualty of gun violence this week.
In November we have seen two people killed and three injured at a high school in California; four people died and a further six were wounded at a party, also in California while three people – possibly including the gunman – were killed at a Walmart in Oklahoma.
These incidents occurred within 5 days of each other leaving many Americans asking what is being done about gun violence.
So far there has been 370 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting is classed as an ‘incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed’.
This is equal to around eight mass shootings per week.
However mass shootings only equate to a small percentage of death by shooting. In 2017 40,000 people died as a result of a shooting incident – including suicide – which works out to an average of 109 per day.
That’s more than four people being killed by guns every hour.