Two people were shot Sunday afternoon during graduation ceremonies at Augusta High School.
A 37-year-old man concealed a small automatic handgun in his sock as he went into Hillier Stadium, according to police Chief Tyler Brewer, director of public safety in Augusta.
“An individual sitting on the southern portion of the stadium had brought this gun into the stadium. It was in his sock,” Brewer said. “It was uncomfortable for him. He went to adjust his sock, and the weapon went off, striking him in the foot.”
The bullet then ricocheted about 50 feet and hit a 28-year-old woman that was sitting underneath the media box. The bullet struck her in the leg.
Both people were transported to area hospitals.
“It doesn’t look like they are life-threatening injuries at this point in time,” Brewer said. “We are still investigating.”
The entrance to Hillier Stadium is clearly marked with a “no-gun” sign.
“It is illegal for anyone to have a weapon on school property,” Brewer said.
The shooting happened at around 2 p.m. and did not delay the graduation ceremonies.
Because the gun was a small-caliber handgun, not many of the estimated 500 to 1,000 people in the stadium heard the shot, according to Sgt. Jeremy Johnston of the Augusta Police Department.
One of the victims was taken by ambulance to Wesley Medical Center. A private vehicle transported the second victim to Kansas Medical Center, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said.
Witnesses and friends of the injured woman’s family helped render aid.
“The man who had the weapon is from a nearby city,” Brewer said. “The (other) victim is a longtime resident.” In fact, her parents aren’t just close friends to myself, they are very good friends.”
Augusta police are expected to present the case to Butler County Attorney Darrin C. Devinney on Monday, Brewer said.
During a media briefing on Sunday, Brewer called the shooting an accident. offered his own thoughts on the shooting.
“It was an accident, but I am just disgusted that this had to occur on such a joyous day,” he said. “It should have been full of joy with people celebrating, and now look at it.”