Parents call shooting at Ben Davis football game ‘terrifying’ but still feel safe going forward

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INDIANAPOLIS — The homecoming football game against Carmel ended abruptly at Ben Davis High School Friday night. In the fourth quarter, gunshots were fired outside the stadium sending fans, students and players running for cover.

”You hear those gunshots you’re like ‘oh my gosh,'” said Teonna Branson, a Ben Davis parent and spectator at the game Friday night. “You just stuck for a second because you don’t know what to do.”

Branson said it was terrifying. She and her seven-year-old were at the game to support her oldest daughter who is on the Ben Davis High School dance team.

”I was just like panicking because I’m trying to get to her but I’m also trying to make sure he is safe at the same time,” Branson said.

Amanda Lambert and her daughter Kya were sitting with Branson and her son at the game. They said they were having a great time.

“You didn’t expect none of that to happen,” said Kya.

Lambert said they heard kids saying people were going to fight outside and then a few seconds later there were shots and everyone panicked.

“There were so many people running,” Lambert said.

Lambert and Branson said they all paused for a second to make sure it was safe to move and then they got out of there.

Branson said her daughter called her about five minutes after the shooting to tell her she was safe.

”When she finally did, everything lifted off of my shoulders because I was terrified,” Branson said.

Despite the shooting, both mothers said they think Ben Davis High School and the surrounding area are safe places.

”I love Ben Davis and I don’t think there is anything for kids or parents or the neighborhood to think there is an issue, it’s just something that happened here,” Lambert said.

An IMPD spokesperson said 18-year-old David Tillman has been arrested for the shooting and the 16-year-old shot in the arm was taken to a hospital and is expected to be okay.

David Tillman (Photo Provided By IMPD)

According to Wayne Township Schools, none of the students involved in the shooting are current Wayne Township students.

Branson said this should be a wake-up call for the community that they need to do more for children.

”I think it’s time for us as parents, the community, to see what we can do for children,” said Branson. “What we can do for young generations because, as we see, they’re picking up more guns and trying to kill each other.”

Branson and Lambert agreed they still feel safe going to games but in the future, they’ll make sure to take a few extra precautions.

”If we do go, I will probably keep the kids nearby,” Lambert said.

According to a statement from Wayne Township Schools, all homecoming activites, including the dance Saturday night, will go on as planned with additional safety measures in place.

On top of that, the school system said there will be resources for any students struggling to process what happened when school resumes on Monday.

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