GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford Metro 911 said three people had minor injuries while trying to run out of Truist Stadium on North Carolina A&T's campus Tuesday during the AAU Junior Olympics. Officials said spectators thought they had heard reports of shots fired and began to run away from the venue.
The track and field events were suspended and the venue was evacuated after Greensboro police said a fight broke out on the grounds around 1 p.m.
14-year-old Nick Torregrossa was getting ready for an event when a large crowd started to run away.
"I looked at her and she (mom) had this pure-terror face. I didn’t even know what was going through her mind, but I looked to my right and I started hearing people saying, 'Shooter, shooter. Someone shooting it up,'" Torregrossa said.
An N.C. A&T University Police Officer said in a 911 call that no shots were fired and it is believed that a fight at a souvenir tent started the commotion.
Erica Tuttle's son, Carson McInerney, has competed at the Junior Olympics for years. She was leaving the stadium after watching him compete in the shot put.
"There was a couple there were a couple of loud noises but I didn't know whether it was a gun," Tuttle said. "It could’ve been something dropping, or someone hitting something."
McInerney was watching others compete when he started hearing rumors from the crowd.
"All of a sudden there’s just this huge rush of people coming and then there are people yelling, 'shooter, gun' and all types of stuff," McInerney said.
EMS officials said 11 people were evaluated for injuries caused by running away from the stadium.
Tuttle said her family helped to reunite a girl who was separated from her mother in the crowd.
"I looked at her arm and it was bloody. Her legs were bloody," Tuttle said. "Her mom (called later). She did break her arm and is going into surgery."
One parent shared video showing a crowd of people running out of the stadium and some parents telling their children to shelter under the bleachers.
Tuttle is disappointed that a fight caused this much disruption at a youth event.
"We’ve never experienced anything like this with the Junior Olympics," Tuttle said. "(The fight) has now interfered with the kids today. Their competitions got postponed. We need to do better."
She is hopeful there will be tighter security for the rest of the games.
Thousands of young athletes are in Greensboro this week for the AAU Junior Olympic games. Events are happening at several different venues across the city.
AAU Track & Field released the following statement via Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
"Following a fight under the stands during the AAU Junior Olympic Games track meet Tuesday at Truist Stadium in Greensboro as confirmed by both the Greensboro Police Department and the city’s 911 dispatch center, the meet was suspended, but will resume Wednesday at the same location. A revised schedule will be emailed to participants."
Our reporter Grace Holland is following this story. If you were at the event and would like to talk to her about what you heard and saw, message her on Twitter @gracesholland.