Three high school graduation ceremonies ended with shots fired in separate incidents in Louisiana, Michigan and Tennessee within the span of 24 hours, another sobering example of gun violence impacting everyday lives, including that of teenage students.
After students crossed stages to receive their diplomas, chaos ensued with gunfire.
At least one person was killed and seven others injured in collective shootings that resulted in the arrest of a 17-year-old gunman in Tennessee.
Shots were fired Thursday night around 8:15 p.m as graduates of Hammond High School were leaving their ceremony held on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University to meet with their families, police said.
Four people were injured in the gunfire, all with non-life-threatening injuries, Hammond PD Chief Edwin Bergeron Jr said in a Thursday night news conference. Three were transported to an area hospital.
A suspect was located after a short foot pursuit and taken into custody, Southeastern Louisiana University Police Chief Michael Beckner told NBC News Friday morning.
Charges are pending as the probe continues and all parties involved were adults, Beckner said.
Police said Thursday no Hammond High School students are believed to be involved in the shooting.
“At this time we do not believe that there were any students involved, we do not believe any juveniles were struck in this incident,” Bergeron said.
Police are asking for witnesses, or people with video footage of shooting to come forward.
There were Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies on site working security for the graduation who responded to the shooting and the “situation was taken under control very quickly," officials said.
Tangipahoa Parish Superintendent of Schools, Melissa Martin Stilley, said Thursday, "We apologize to our families and to our students that this night, which should have been a very happy occasion for our graduates and their families, ended on such a sad note."
Hammond High School students will have a virtual school day Friday, though faculty will go into to school, she said.
A shooting erupted at the East Kentwood High School campus outside the football stadium in Michigan on Thursday during a graduation ceremony for Crossroads Alternative High School at around 7:20 p.m., injuring two, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Two deputies were on site working security for the ceremony, but by the time deputies got to the parking lot on foot, “the suspect vehicles had fled.”
Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said in a Thursday evening news conference that people in two cars were exchanging gunshots.
She said “a large number of shots” were fired at the scene.
The sheriff's office said two victims in the shooting were later located at area hospitals: a 16-year-old from Texas who was shot in the wrist and is in stable condition and a 40-year-old woman from Grand Rapids who was shot in the wrist and abdomen in critical but stable condition.
It's not clear if the victims were connected to the graduation.
The sheriff’s office believes there were more than two individuals opened fire. Initial reports indicate two white sedans with multiple people inside fled the scene at a high rate of speed, officials said.
Authorities are also asking for witnesses or people with video or photo footage of the incident to submit tips.
A 17-year-old was arrested in a deadly shooting after a graduation ceremony for Riverdale High School held at the Middle Tennessee State University campus shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday as the crowd was leaving.
Hasani Brewer, 18, was killed and a 17-year-old high school student wounded, police said. Brewer and the teenager who was shot had gotten into a fight when a third person opened fire, police spokesperson Larry Flowers said at a news conference.
The suspect, who is also 17, was not identified because of his age. He will be arraigned in juvenile court on a first-degree murder charge, Flowers said.
Brewer was a past graduate of the high school, and the wounded teenager is a junior, he said.
“The graduation was just ending, people were leaving, this fight began — so just imagine the chaos when shots rang out,” Flowers said.