Palm Beach County

2 shot at preseason high school football game in Wellington, deputies say

Andrea Torres

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputies evacuated a high school football field Friday night after a shooting left two men wounded during a preseason game in Wellington.

The shooting at Palm Beach Central High School was during the fourth quarter of an exhibition game against William T. Dwyer Community High School from Palm Beach Gardens.

Deputies were called to the school at 8499 Forest Hill Blvd and minutes later the department tweeted that it was not an active-shooter incident. Fire-rescue personnel airlifted one man from the field and a witness drove the other injured man to a hospital.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said the two adult victims were not students in the Palm Beach County school system.

"My thoughts are with the victims of the shooting ... This shouldn't be the image of high school in America -- of life in America," Rep. Ted Deutch wrote on Twitter . "We must take action to strengthen our gun laws."

It was the first Friday night since Palm Beach County students returned to school Aug. 13.

Palm Beach Post reporter Ryan DiPentima was covering the football game when he reported on Twitter that witnesses heard several shots and chaos ensued.

"People just scrambled again, This time in the other direction. Young child in the press box just said, 'I hope I don't die.' Another said, 'This happens daily.' Unbelievable," DiPentima wrote , adding the game was canceled.

Witnesses published videos on social media showing that the crowd at the game also included children. The Palm Beach County school district was asking parents who were there to pick up their children to go to the school's bus loop.

There "are plenty of law enforcement on site," Kathy Burstein, the school district's spokeswoman, wrote in a statement. "Students are safe and awaiting pickup."

Barbera said the Palm Beach County Schools Police Department asked sheriff's detectives with the violent crimes division to take over the investigation. The shooter was not identified.

Students returned to school in Broward County on Wednesday and will return to school in Miami-Dade County on Monday.