A shooting in the parking lot of North High School in Des Moines left one girl with minor injuries Friday night and some eyewitnesses shaken.
Following the North Polar Bears’ basketball game against Roosevelt, a 15-year-old girl was standing outside with other spectators when a black Jeep pulled up and six unknown males inside allegedly started yelling at them, according to Des Moines police reports.
Three uniformed police officers were working at the packed alumni game. They noted that during the game there were multiple fights, according to the reports.
The three officers reportedly called for back-up once the game let out. One witness said the game ended about 9:20 p.m. A teacher called 911 saying shots had been fired out in the parking lot, near the southwest side of the building, about 9:58 p.m. Witnesses told police they saw a bullet hit a front railing.
The teen girl who was hit told police that the group in the Jeep had returned while she was with a group of others waiting for rides home in the parking lot near 6th Street and Holcomb Avenue. The victim said she could hear the group yell “C-Block” and “32,” the reports state.
North High graduate Jenniffer Welch, 34, attended Friday night’s alumni game. She was in the parking lot when shots were fired.
“(I was) literally right in the heart of it actually,” she said. As she was walking to her car, she saw a group of about 8 to 10 kids. She said there was a lot of yelling happening.
After the first shot was fired, she said she ducked behind a car with her mother and listened as the bullets ricocheted off objects just a few feet away.
“It takes you a second to realize if it’s real or not,” she said. “It happened so fast.”
After that her adrenaline kicked in and she just wanted to make sure her mother was OK.
After the game there was a reception and mixer for the alumni in attendance. Welch said the game was packed, and even saw people turned away. By the time the shots were fired, about 10 p.m., most of the guests had left.
“Luckily, there weren’t a whole lot of people left over,” Welch said.
The high school staff went to work, Welch said, and helped get everyone inside.
“I was very impressed by the staff, they were quick to get everyone inside,” Welch said.
Other witnesses told officers that prior to the shooting there was a fight in the parking lot. The 15-year-old, who was grazed in the buttocks, told police six shots were fired into the lot.
She was transported to Mercy Medical Center by her aunt, where police met with her about 10:51 p.m., according to the report. She is listed in good condition.
Phil Roeder, spokesperson for the Des Moines Public Schools, said in an email to The Register that the school is cooperating with an ongoing investigation with the Des Moines Police Department. He also said there is some “uncertainty” over what happened after the game.
“Safety at our schools is always a top priority, and we’ll be cooperating with DMPD any way we can to get to the bottom of this and take any action we need to take as a school district,” he said.
After the shooting, police looked for shell casings and possible bullet holes around the school. They could not find anything, according to the reports.