DES MOINES, Iowa — The call went out to police with just a few minutes left in Hoover High School’s homecoming football game, parents who live nearby heard the gunfire.
“All of a sudden you hear the ‘pop! pop! pop! pop! pop!’ and for a minute I thought it was fireworks going off” said Michele Swessinger.
“I didn’t think anything of it being at the game because I’m not used to hearing shots at a football game over here” said Micha Johnson.
Both women had children at the game. Swessinger’s daughter left at halftime, Johnson’s son was on the field, a member of the varsity football team.
“I was worried not only because of him, but also because my nephew and my niece were over there, and it’s really scary because these kids are getting younger, and the younger they are the younger they are with guns” said Johnson.
Police are working to identify who was behind the gunfire. They say several casings were found near the south parking lot, and a dark colored sedan with no lights on was spotted leaving the area following the shots. It was a scary moment for the Hoover community and the school made the decision to postpone their homecoming dance. Originally scheduled for Saturday evening, Principal Sherry Poole says it will be held on September 22.
“I had some parent voice, some student voice in the decision, we didn’t make it alone. We thought because last night had such an emotional toll on some of our student groups, that we wanted to celebrate homecoming, not have it the night after an event where some students were still struggling with it and hadn’t processed the events” she said.
A decision Swessinger and Johnson support, but are disappointed had to be made in the first place.
“For the safety of these kids, but at the same time these kids should not have to get their programs canceled because everybody else wants to be idiots” said Johnson.
Principal Poole says since the incident she’s gotten numerous emails of support from other parents and community members, several wanting to volunteer for the now postponed homecoming dance.