A jam-packed and celebratory homecoming football game Friday night at Baldwin High School ended in chaos when gunshots were fired in a parking lot south of the field, and a young man was found stabbed.
As of last night, the two male assailants remained on the loose and the 20-year-old victim was expected to recover, police said.
He was among four young people from Freeport leaving the game who scattered after an assailant opened fire. One of the two bullets shattered a window of an SUV in the lot, narrowly missing a 44-year-old and his young daughter sitting inside, police said last night.
Soon after, the victim was punched in the face and stabbed in the buttocks and lower back, said a Nassau police spokeswoman, Officer Maureen Roach.
It was unclear last night whether the stabber was one of the two initial assailants or a third male, Roach said. Police continued searching for the assailants last night.
The violence broke out about 8:30 p.m. during the break between the third and fourth quarters of the game between Baldwin and Hicksville high schools. The game was called and Baldwin, which had been leading, 33-0, was declared the winner.
Police did not identify the victim but said his injuries are not life-threatening.
Baldwin coach Stephen Carroll said he was wearing his headphones when a game official said he heard popping sounds in a south parking lot, near the concession stands.
"Someone thought it was fireworks," he said. "And at this point, the game is the least important thing in the evening."
Carroll said he took his players to the school's locker room while the Hicksville team was moved to a bus across the field.
"We had this great thing turn into a horrible thing," he said.
B.A. Schoen, a retired Baldwin school board member and Booster Club president, said he saw people in the parking lot quickly disperse after the shots. A police helicopter hovered over the scene while ambulances arrived, he said. Schoen estimated a crowd of about 2,000.
"It's a tragedy for everyone in the community," Schoen said. "I don't remember firearms ever being part of a [Baldwin] high school game before."
Baldwin School Board member Eric Harrison was stunned to learn of the violence. "I am just speechless that this could have transpired," he said.
Baldwin School District spokeswoman Cristina Schmohl said officials "are very concerned" about the attack and plan to increase security at the school on Monday, when it will open on a normal schedule. A Saturday night soccer game at the school, she said, had been canceled as a precaution.
Parents of students at the school, she said, were to receive a phone message from Baldwin High School Principal Susan Knors updating them about the attack Saturday.
With Robert Brodsky