RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– Residents are reacting after gunshots broke out near a high school football game at Armstrong High School on Thursday night, which turned out to just be a scare.
In the 4th quarter on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 13, the Patrick Henry and Armstrong High School football teams had just ten minutes left to play.
Achia Banks was at the game to watch her son play for Armstrong High School. According to Banks, there was 10 minutes left when a round of gunfire erupted around 9:15 p.m.
Banks said players, residents in the stands and cheerleaders were taking cover.
“Everybody assumed to go through the gate, because that’s the way out,” Banks said. “But the way out was the way the gunshots were coming from, so most of us were puzzled as to where to go.”
According to Banks, an announcement was made on the field to tell everyone to evacuate into the building. Banks said people entered the gym.
“To say the least, it was very scary,” Banks said.
Richmond Police, Henrico Police and Virginia State Police all responded to the scene on Thursday. Richmond Police said after further investigation, there was no evidence of shots fired at the Armstrong High School stadium. Instead, police said the gunfire was coming from the Fairfield Court Apartment Complex.
Officer searched and cleared the area. They determined there was no threat and said no one was injured.
“We are thankful that this was not an active shooter situation and that no one was injured as a result,” Richmond Police said in a statement.
Don Stephens was also at the game on Thursday night. Stephens said he was enjoying the game and having fun as he watched his son play for Patrick Henry. Then, he said he heard around eight gunshots. He went to the gym along with the rest of the attendees and some players, cheerleaders and families. Other players hid out in the locker rooms.
While others around him “started ducking,” Stephens said he never felt like he was in danger.
Despite the scene being cleared, Brenda Morrison is still shaken up.
“It was frightening,” Morrison said.
Morrison, who was at the game to watch her grandson play for Patrick Henry, told 8News she felt it wasn’t fair for the kids who attend Armstrong High School to not be able to play in a safe environment. Morrison mentioned that other counties are able to receive better fields as well.
Banks said the community needs to do better and she’d like a barrier around the school. She is also worries about support for the students of Armstrong High School.
Some witnesses mentioned that Patrick Henry had more supporters in the stands than the Armstrong High side, and Banks said the lack of support from their loved ones can become detrimental.
“I just pray that we all get together and do this thing for our children because they are our future,” Banks said. “Us as a community can do better.”
Anyone with information about this incident should call the Richmond Police Department at 804-646-0633.