Westmont High School Parking Lot Shooting

Students and parents emerged from Westmont High School's stadium to a parking lot full of San Jose Police Department officers Friday night. Gunshots fired in the parking lot injured two people during the final minutes of a football game between St. Francis and Serra high schools.

Two men were injured Friday night (Nov. 26) by gunshots fired in the parking lot at Westmont High School in San Jose during the St. Francis High football team's Central Coast Section Division I title game against Serra.

Just before 9 p.m. – moments after Serra scored what proved to be the winning touchdown with 2:18 to play – people in the stands started running out of the bleachers and stadium, according to a Town Crier staff member present at the scene. Some students at the game sought out places to hide while players, coaches, game officials and media on the field were told to get down.

"We set a good example by just laying down – not running," St. Francis running back Viliami Teu. "We just listened to our coach. He just told us to lay down and stay quiet. It was great to see our team listen and keep our poise."

The Serra players scattered; many ran into the pop-up tents on their sideline before racing up a small hill to a fence beyond the end zone not far from the parking lot. They soon returned to their sideline.

As the San Jose Police Department arrived, a helicopter hovered over the field.

The San Jose Police Department's media relations confirmed that two adult males suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the parking lot and said that as of Friday night suspects and motive for the shooting were unknown.

St. Francis sophomore Sienna Sirovita described initial moments of confusion, as some game attendees on the Lancers' side of the field initially thought they had heard fireworks or a passing car. The shooting outside the stadium unfolded in the final minutes of the game, with Serra making a touchdown just as people within the stadium had began to run.  

"Once some kids started running, everyone kind of went into survival mode and people realized it was a big deal," Sirovita said.

St. Francis coach Greg Calcagno was pleased with how his team and the fans handled the situation.

"Everybody was safe and people didn’t panic, which was great," he said. "It could have been a real disaster."

About 40 minutes after everyone in the stadium had been told to drop and take shelter, play resumed – with Serra holding on for a 16-12 win – and participants exited the stadium to a parking lot filled with police officers. More than a dozen police vehicles were on the scene.

St. Francis administrators emailed the school community to say the game resumed – in a decision made collectively by both teams, school administrators and league officials – because the situation inside the stadium was deemed safe after the initial police response. 

"We realize it was a concerning situation, and that there was not sufficient communication in the stadium. We thank everyone in attendance for their patience and understanding," Principal Katie Teekell and President Jason Curtis wrote in an email they cosigned.