PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. - A football player and his mom spoke to FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson after gunfire erupted at a high school football game on Friday night. He says the next game they play will be for the 10-year-old boy who was critically wounded in the shooting.
"We went out there this morning and it just felt a little weird," said 17-year-old Ernest Howard. He’s a senior at Pleasantville High and a member of the Greyhounds football team and says the team went back on the field Monday for the first time since Friday night when a shooting broke out.
"It was definitely a lot of pain and anger built inside because we did so much trying to stay out of trouble in this town or city and it's like people just come here and mess it all up," he said.
The shooting happened near the end of the third quarter in the game against Camden. Police say someone fired several shots from the Pleasantville side bleachers. Everyone went running, including Ernest. His mom had gone to her car during halftime.
"Once I heard the shots, I thought this can't be real," said his mother, Keisha Miles. She says officials ushered everyone inside the gym. She was worried about her 6-year-old son Aamir who was last playing near the bleachers when she left.
"Everything just went blank with me because my 6-year-old was out there and I didn't have him with me. I knew Ernest and them were probably okay," she said.
Fortunately, someone picked up Aamir and brought him to the gym. Officials soon determined a man was shot, a 15-year-old suffered a graze wound and a 10-year-old boy, who was the most seriously hurt was also shot.
Neal Loch a retired Battalion Chief with Pleasantville Fire Department and does part-time security work at FOX 29 was at the game. He ran to one of the victims.
"A beautiful child with a lifeless body laying there," said Loch. He and another retired firefighter worked on the little boy who is identified as Micah. He’s seen in a GoFundMe page started to help him and his family.
"Our main goal was to stabilize the bleeding, make sure he had a heartbeat, control respirations and get him in the ambulance and going," said Loch. Ernest says while the team is looking forward to playing again this Wednesday it's more than a chance to advance to the state championship. They're fighting for Micah who is fighting for his life.
"We're really trying to focus on the game right now to win it for Micah but we're definitely trying to plan something up for Micah so we can show him that we're still all hands on deck for him," said Ernest.
The Eagles have offered up the Linc for the team to play its next game.
A GoFundMe set up on behalf of the 10-year-old has raised more than $17,000 as of Monday night.