By Kevin Deutsch
A celebratory MLK day basketball game between high school teams turned violent Monday when a spectator opened fire inside an iconic South Bronx gym, setting off panic in the crowd, authorities said.
Gun blasts were heard shortly before 6 p.m. inside the New York Gauchos gym on Gerard Avenue, as Putnam Science took on Our Savior Lutheran in a holiday tribute game.
Earl Elliot, program director for the Gauchos, said in a statement posted to Twitter that no one was struck by the bullets.
“Unfortunately during a boys HS basketball game today at the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx, during a celebration for (MLK) one of the most iconic peacemakers in history, a reckless spectator decided to shoot off a gun in the crowded gym during the game,” Elliot said. “We are fortunate enough that no one was reported injured or shot.”
“As we strive to support our young people and the community around us, we will not let this situation darken our bright star that has shined here for the past 53 years,” Elliot added.
Organizers at the gym helped facilitate an orderly evacuation after the incident, authorities said, despite fears of an active shooter situation.
No arrests had been announced as of Monday night. Anyone with information is asked to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.