Gunfire broke out in the stands at a high school basketball game in Dallas on Saturday night, leaving an 18-year-old spectator in critical condition, a police officer wounded and the unidentified shooter on the run, authorities said.
At least four shots rang out during the third quarter of a game between South Oak Cliff and Kimball high schools, prompting players and coaches to duck for cover and fans to race for the exits, video of the incident showed.
An 18-year-old victim, believed to be a former student at South Oak Cliff, was hit in the chest by a bullet and taken to a hospital, where he was in serious condition, police said.
A Dallas Independent School District police officer was grazed by a bullet when she attempted to confront the gunman, Robyn Harris, a spokeswoman for the Dallas Independent School District, said at a news conference.
"She did put herself in harm's way to safely secure the area," Harris said of the officer, whose name was not immediately released.
The shooting erupted at 9:10 p.m. inside the Ellis Davis Field House in southwest Dallas, police said. The shooting followed a physical altercation in the stands, Harris said.
Harris said the gunman slipped out of the arena with the crowd of panicked spectators. Police are asking for possible witnesses to come forward and help investigators identify the suspect or suspects.
“We really need the community’s help in resolving this. Because, again, there is senseless violence that must stop," Harris said.
Police released photos of three young men described as "persons of interest" they are seeking to interview.
The shooting came just hours after South Oak Cliff High School officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate a two-year, $52 million renovation at the school, Harris said. She said the basketball game was scheduled to cap the day's festivities.
"For it to end in this way is heartbreaking," Harris said.
Dallas has been reeling from a surge in deadly violence that included 210 homicides in 2019 and the fatal shooting of a toddler during the first week of 2020.
On Jan. 5, 1-year-old Rory Norman was shot to death when someone crept up to his bedroom window and opened fire with a rifle in what Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall described as a "targeted" shooting. The child was killed while asleep in his bed and his 20-year-old uncle, who was home from college for the holidays, was wounded, Hall said.
No one has been arrested in Rory's death.