By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Four people were injured in a shooting Friday night during a football game at Choctaw High School, according to police.
The incident happened about 10:15 p.m. during the third quarter of the game between Del City and Choctaw. Multiple shots were fired near the visitor seating on the east side of the stadium. Two shots were heard followed by a brief pause and then five more shots.
As the shots rang out, fans and players rushed for cover. Authorities arrived at the scene and searched the area for suspects and assisted victims.
The shooting happened with 3:58 left in the third quarter, and Del City leading 34-25. The football game was the season opener for both schools.
Choctaw Police Chief Kelly Marshall said three of the victims were transported to a hospital. One person was treated and released. At least one of the victims was a high school student.
Marshall said as of midnight Saturday, no suspects are in custody. She said they are looking for a suspect who was described as a black male wearing a gray hoodie. Three individuals were detained by police at the scene. Marshall said they are being interviewed but would not say if they are suspects.
Off-duty Del City police officers worked security on the visitor side of the stadium. Del City Police Chief Lloyd Berger said one of his officers was involved in the shooting but couldn’t provide specifics. He said the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation of the officer.
“All I can tell you is that I know one of our officers discharged his weapon,” he said.
Marshall said her department provides security at all Choctaw football games.
“I had five officers here and Chief (Lloyd) Berger had at least two here and that’s just routine for the safety and security,” Marshall said.
Several agencies responded to the shooting. The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is assisting in the investigation due to the size of the crime scene.
“We have a huge amount of people to talk to – anyone who could have witnessed it,” Marshall said. “We have students and band members that we need to talk to.”
Marshall praised the response from law enforcement agencies.
“It means everything that we can count on them when we have something of this magnitude,” she said. “We want to process the scene as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”
The incident was the second shooting at a Del City High School athletic event this year. On Jan. 17, two people fired shots after a Del City boys basketball home game against Millwood. Neither individuals involved were Mid-Del students or affiliated with the district.
New safety and security procedures were put into place immediately after the incident. The district also added weapon detection systems for all high school football and basketball games as well as other large events.
The district put the new weapon detection systems into place beginning Friday night during Carl Albert’s home football game against Coweta.
Mid-Del and Choctaw-Nicoma Park school district issued a joint statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by tonight’s incident. Both districts are working jointly with the police presence from Choctaw, Del City, and Oklahoma County in an ongoing investigation. The police will provide further details as they become available.”
– David Reid, Superintendent Choctaw-Nicoma Park, and Dr. Rick Cobb, Superintendent Mid-Del Schools
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office at (405) 869-2501.