5 Teens Shot During 'Senior Skip Day' in Park

One is in critical condition after Friday shooting in Schrom Hills Park in Greenbelt, Maryland
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2024 9:00 AM CDT
5 Teens Shot During 'Senior Skip Day' in Park
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/MattGush)

Hundreds of high school students descended upon Schrom Hills Park in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Friday, celebrating what's popularly known in the area as "Senior Skip Day." Gunfire marred the festivities, however, leaving five teens injured, police say, per CBS News. Greenbelt Police Chief Richard Bowers says that officers from multiple law-enforcement agencies had gone to the park in the afternoon to try to manage the crowd of 500 to 600 people that had gathered there, when shots suddenly rang out, reports ABC News.

Police say a suspect they believe acted alone fled the park after the shooting and is still on the run. The five injured teens, all males between the ages of 16 and 18, were transported to area hospitals with gunshot wounds, with one in critical condition and the rest in stable condition, says Bowers. A spokesperson for the police department says the teens had gathered earlier that day in Bowie, about 15 minutes away, before cops dispersed them; they then headed to Schrom Hills Park. Police say a water gun fight had been taking place right before the actual shooting.

Bowers says there were about eight to 10 gunshots fired, with students from several area schools in the crowd. "These were kids ... who were looking to have a good time in a local park, and to have something like this occur is just maddening," he notes, calling it a "horrible, tragic, senseless act." He notes that although he doesn't "condone skipping school," it's an annual tradition of sorts, and last year's event was "relatively peaceful," per WTOP. Senior Skip Day Greenbelt Mayor Emmett Jordan says the event was "informally organized" on social media. An investigation is ongoing. (More Maryland stories.)

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