Unexpected chaos broke out during a high school football game Friday night as fans scrambled for safety and players and coaches ducked for cover after several shots were fired in the parking lot with three minutes left to go in the game.
Fans at the playoff game between Miami Central and Carol City High and Nathaniel “Traz” Powell Stadium reacted on social media, tweeting and posting from the stands as everyone tried to make sense of what was happening.
Three teens have been arrested in the shooting incident, which yielded no injuries, police said Saturday.
“It’s Friday night under the lights of Traz Powell and we’re trying to enjoy ourselves and watch these kids and watch them play to better themselves,” said Latrell Dennis who was in the stands.
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Dennis witnessed the scene as fans scrambled out of the bleachers and she was relieved that no one got hurt or trampled. She said the community, churches and families have to step up to combat gun violence and prevent incidents like Friday night’s shooting.
“You’re able to get a gun quicker than anything and that just doesn’t make sense to me.” Dennis said. “It’s going to take a whole community to get us back where we used to be.”
The three arrested in the shooting are: Larico Walker, 18, Kaion Lynch, 18, and Mark Trimble, 19. They were charged with possession of a firearm on school property. Walker and Lynch face an additional charge third degree grand theft of a firearm. Trimble and Walker were also charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
Miami-Dade Schools spokesman John Schuster said several other individuals were questioned by Miami-Dade Schools police.
Screams were heard coming from the stands and fans were seen running to the exits located on each side of the grandstand when at least two gunshots were heard in the distance.
Police ran into the stands in an attempt to restore control as coaches yelled and waved frantically for players to get down.
The game was immediately halted and the field was cleared. Miami Central was ultimately declared the winner of the game 36-8 in a Region 4-6A semifinal game.
But the score was not the primary concern for Carol City coach Aubrey Hill in the midst of the ruckus. Hill said his focused shifted to following protocol and on to ensuring the safety of his players and staff.
“We have procedures in place if there’s anything like a fight, a riot or shots fired,” he said. “It did take a little minute to get everything under control.”
He said he’s hopeful that both schools, their alumni and supporters will be able to move together positively.
“Even though it was an unfortunate event we want to make sure everyone knows that we are all about our kids and we will not be deterred by acts of violence,” Hill said.
Central coach Roland Smith offered a similar sentiment after the game.
“You hate to see anything like that happen, but luckily it seems like no one was hurt,” Smith said.
Even though it was an unfortunate event we want to make sure everyone knows that we are all about our kids and we will not be deterred by acts of violence
Carol City coach Aubrey Hill
The shooting comes just days after Miami Northwestern High mourned the loss of 15-year-old Johnny Lubin Jr., who was shot and killed as he walked home from school Wednesday.
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted about the incident Saturday morning.
Miami Herald staff writers Andre C. Fernandez and Alex Harris contributed to this report.