“I’m disturbed by it,” Prine said at a news conference. “This is a place where families come, children come after being in school all week.”
At least four people — three men and one woman — were hospitalized and two of the four were juveniles, according to police. Prine said the condition of the person with the life-threatening injury was “critical,” but authorities have not released any additional information.
The Mobile Police Department released an image on Saturday showing three “suspects of interest” and asking the public for assistance in finding them. Prine, who urged those involved to turn themselves in, told reporters, “This type of gun violence is not going to be tolerated.”
A spokesperson with Mobile County Public Schools, the district that includes both Vigor and Williamson, did not immediately return a request for comment on Saturday. Katrina Frazier, a police spokeswoman, told The Washington Post she did not have any additional updates on the victims as of early Saturday afternoon.
Video posted to social media of the chaotic scene shows fans running onto the field and toward the stadium’s exits, and players dropping to the ground for safety. The public address announcer is heard telling fans to “cover yourself and protect yourself.”
The shooting at the football game is the latest in a recent series of attacks at schools and school facilities nationwide.
Two students were wounded in a September shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, Va., in an incident police said stemmed from a dispute between youths who know each other. A former student at a Houston public charter school was charged after confessing this month to shooting and wounding the principal. Four people were wounded in a shooting earlier this month at Timberview High School in Arlington, Tex., in an incident that authorities said stemmed from a fight between two students.
It’s not the first time a shooting has taken place at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. In 2019, nine people were injured as a result of a shooting that broke out at the end of a football game between LeFlore and Williamson high schools, the same school in the Friday night game, AL.com reported. Six of those injured suffered gunshot wounds. Police eventually arrested a 17-year-old and later determined that the shooting started from an argument.
Shootings at high school games, or those involving football in general, have made headlines across Alabama. A shooting outside a football stadium near Birmingham halted a game last month after a man tailgating suffered a gunshot wound. An argument between two men in Bessemer, Ala., during the final minutes of the Oct. 9 college football game in College Station, Tex., between the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide and the Texas A&M Aggies resulted in a fatal shooting. Emanuel Tolbert III, 20, is charged with the murder of 27-year-old Kealend Amad Pickens after the two argued over which team was better, police said.
The undefeated Vigor squad was up 28-12 on Williamson with 5:49 to go when the game was suspended. Vigor Principal Gerald Cunningham told AL.com that the final minutes of the game would be played Monday morning at a location that’s yet to be identified. No fans will be allowed to attend the conclusion of the game.
The coaches for both schools were saddened that gun violence had made its way into the game.
“We’ve got to be an example and change these kids’ lives that many are out here raising themselves,” Vigor Coach John McKenzie told the outlet.
Williamson Coach Melvin Pete Jr. noted that “Our communities will suffer after things like this.”