NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Parents are demanding changes after shots rang out during a Monday night youth baseball game in North Charleston.
According to the North Charleston Police Department (NCPD), the incident happened in a parking lot near Pepperhill Park shortly before 8:45 p.m.
Police said that an altercation between two groups led to dozens of shots being fired.
Meanwhile, several youth baseball games were underway at the fields at Pepperhill Park.
Video captured by Blake Ferguson — whose eight-year-old son was pitching when the chaos began — captured the terrifying moments.
Just as a player is getting ready to bat, a series of loud pops can be heard in the distance, followed by a short pause, then another series of loud pops. That’s when some kids freeze in fear, some take off running, and some drop to the ground.
Kids and coaches can be seen trying to crawl to safety as some parents try to direct them. No injuries have been reported as of Monday night.
Ferguson also shared a photo of what appears to be a bullet hole in a car.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and NCPD Assistant Chief Greg Gomes were reportedly shocked by the video and disturbed by the level of violence that put so many lives in danger.
NCPD vowed to investigate “this incident to the fullest extent of the law” and “do everything in their power to locate and arrest the individuals involved in this heinous and reckless act.”
NCPD tried to calm the shaken community by reassuring people that the incident “had nothing to do with the Park, youth athletes, parents or coaches.” Additionally, NCPD leadership will meet with recreation officials on Tuesday “to formulate a safety plan to ensure that our city’s youth can feel safe when playing on our parks and playgrounds.”
Games scheduled for Tuesday have been cancelled and NCPD is working with local organizations to ensure everyone impacted has access to resources to help process the event.
Still, Ferguson said that his son is traumatized, as are the other kids involved.
Prior to NCPD releasing its statement, Ferguson said parents plan on petitioning to stop hosting games at Pepperhill Park because of the high rate of crime in the area. It is unclear how NCPD’s response will impact that plan.