Five teenagers were injured after gunfire rang out at a large gathering of high school students taking part in a senior skip day in Maryland, police said.

Officers from several law enforcement agencies were responding to help control a crowd of 500 to 600 students who had gathered in Schrom Hills Park in Greenbelt Friday afternoon when they heard multiple shots ring out, according to Greenbelt Police Chief Richard Bowers.

Five male victims ranging between the ages of 16 and 18 were located with gunshot wounds, Bowers said. All five victims were transported to local hospitals. One is in critical condition and the other four are stable, Bowers said.

PHOTO: Authorities respond to a shooting in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 19, 2024.

Authorities respond to a shooting in a park in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 19, 2024.


A suspect in the shooting is believed to have fled the park when the crowd dispersed following the gunfire and has not been located at this time, Bowers said. Police believe there was only one shooter, he said.

The police chief called the shooting a “horrible, tragic, senseless act.”

“These were kids on senior skip day who were looking to have a good time in a local park, and to have something like this occur is just maddening,” Bowers said.

The students had initially gathered in Bowie, Maryland, for senior skip day and were asked to disperse by local law enforcement, a Greenbelt Police Department spokesperson told ABC News. Many of those students then moved to Schrom Hills Park, where they participated in a large water gun fight prior to the shooting, police said.

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Greenbelt Mayor Emmett Jordan said the gathering was “informally organized” on social media.

“We don’t condone skipping school, but it’s the senior skip day,” Bowers said. “It’s just a tragedy.”

Students from multiple high schools in the area are believed to have been at the park, the chief said.

A motive remains unclear.

The shooting remains under investigation. Bowers urged anyone with footage from the incident to reach out to police. Investigators will also be looking over body-worn camera footage, he said.

“We know that the person involved is definitely on a camera somewhere,” Bowers said.

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