Football fans came from near and far on Friday night to watch two of the most highly touted high school football teams in Palm Beach County. On Saturday, those fans, and the Dwyer and Palm Beach Central football teams were trying to sort through what ended up being a traumatic nightmare.
It was still anybody's football game in the fourth quarter at Palm Beach Central High School when pure chaos broke out.
There were reportedly four shots fired and two adult males shot, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. But those being evacuated had no idea what the magnitude of the situation was, or how many shooters there were. They were essentially running for their lives.
"When I put my helmet on, all I could think was get out," recalls Dwyer senior center Chris Irion, who was still sorting through his emotions on Saturday. "Just run as far away as possible from those sounds."
For the players who were trying to escape on an open football field, it was a life-changing moment they'll never forget.
"I was trying not to be as scared, I was trying to just be smart, and just survive," says Irion. "When I got up with my family, I saw these little girls crying, and it was the most heartbreaking thing, the fear in their eyes was insane. And the fact that we have to sit there and be scared to even go back on the field, it's horrible.
There will be for counseling on Monday at Palm Beach Central High School and Dwyer High School for any students who need it. The Dwyer players we spoke to say it will be therapeutic to get back on the practice field next week.