Shooting scare causes evacuation at Goddard

Fight in parking lot leads to cancellation of football game
By Brandon Gustafson | Sep 19, 2018
Photo by: David Pan Students in the Kamiak student section leave the stands during the evacuation of Goddard Stadium. The stadium was evacuated after reported gunfire from 4th Avenue West after an altercation in the Mariner High School parking lot.

A night filled with school spirit and competition between two rival schools quickly turned into a night of chaos when reported gunfire caused the evacuation of Goddard Stadium during the Kamiak-Mariner football game.

According to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, officers responded to Mariner High School just before 9 p.m. for reports of a fight between juveniles in the school’s parking lot. The altercation then moved off campus to 4th Avenue West, where the gunfire happened.

Mariner's school resource officer responded to the fight, and heard five to six shots fired nearby. No one was injured by the reported gunfire.

The game was cancelled with just under 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and the stadium was quickly evacuated. (For the game story and reaction from players and coaches, see Sports section of the website).

According to a news release from the Mukilteo School District, there was one reported minor injury.

“We are told that there was one injury during the evacuation when a student rolled an ankle,” the Mukilteo School District release said. “Fans were later allowed back into the grandstands to retrieve their belongings.”

Officers temporarily closed 4th Avenue West to investigate the scene, anddiscovered multiple bullet casings in the area.

On Sunday, Mariner High School principal Nate DuChesne sent out a letter to students and parents about the situation. Due to the ongoing investigation, there wasn’t much he could say, but he did note the number of faculty members present at the game.

“It is important to note that both Kamiak and Mariner had several administrators, security personnel, and law enforcement present at the game. Safety is our highest priority,” DuChesne said. “Also, we were pleased with the quick response time of law enforcement once the incident was reported.”

DuChesne also said some factors, such as social media and the presence of law enforcement, “created a dangerous situation due to the rapid evacuation of the stadium,” and they are still assessing the situation.

“We will continue to improve how we respond to an incident of this nature,” he said. “Our primary concern at this point is to make sure our students feel comfortable at school and that their emotional needs are taken care of.”

DuChesne noted the incident had an impact on many Mariner students, and they freed up all counseling resources on Monday, Sept. 17, so students could discuss the incident.

DuChesne also had meetings with each grade in the school’s gym on Monday.

“I want the students to know everything we are doing at Mariner to make sure it’s a safe place to go to school,” he said. “In addition, I will be speaking to them about how social media plays a role in these unfortunate situations.”

DuChesne offered reassurance to the parents of Mariner students that the school is ready to help their children.

“Life isn’t always easy, but how we respond to adversity is most important,” DuChesne said. “Rest assured that the Mariner staff is ready to help your students respond to this situation. We will learn from it, and we will be better for it.”

Kamiak administrators issued a joint statement Saturday evening, in which they listed outside resources students may wish to use. They also made staff available to assist students who needed support after Friday evening.

“In the meantime, we also want to ask your assistance in minimizing the spread of any false rumors or contributing to inaccurate information,” the statement said. “Last night’s event was traumatic for many of us, and we will need to support each other to go through this challenging time.”

Kamiak officials said they are now focused on serving their students and parents more than ever.

“All things considered, we have enjoyed a great start to our year at Kamiak High School,” the Kamiak administrative team said. “Please know that while last night’s events have disrupted this new year, our team is more resolved than ever to fully serve you, your children, our great school and district community.”

At this time, there are no identified suspects.

If you have any information on this incident, contact the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

 

Peace Rally

 

In the wake of the suspected shooting, students from both Kamiak and Mariner are organizing a peace rally for 11 a.m. this Sunday, Sept. 23, at Mariner High School.

According to Jordan Smeby, a Kamiak student who is helping organize the rally, they are aiming to have the event take place on the football field at Goddard Stadium. However, as of Tuesday morning, they were still waiting for approval from the Mukilteo School District.

Smeby said they are asking that attendees bring non-perishable food items to donate to local food banks.

Speakers and performers for the rally haven’t been finalized, but those interested can follow @msdstrong2018 on Instagram or join the Facebook event “Kamiak/Mariner Peace Rally” for more information.

 

Resources and support

 

Crisis communication resources:

  • Care Crisis Response Service available 24/7: 1-800-584-3578 or 425-258-4357
  • Crisis text line: Text HELLO to 741-741

 

Grief Support Groups:

  • Providence: Call for more information on their sudden and traumatic loss group and individual/family grief support group: 425-261-4807
  • Evergreen health grief and bereavement groups: 425-899-1077
  • Group Health cooperative bereavement support groups and classes: 1-888-954-2509
  • Swedish Hospital Edmonds traumatic loss group: 425-640-4404
  • Children’s Mental Health Liaison with Snohomish County Human Services Liza Patchen-Short: Liza.Patchen-Short@snoco.org

 

 

 

 

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