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Farmington students, staff react to cancelled homecoming game against Pontiac

Pontiac cancelled classes, game after shooting
Posted at 10:32 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 23:10:48-04

FARMINGTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — Farmington High Principal Tom Shelton delivered some tough news to students and parents Friday morning; the school's homecoming football game against Pontiac was canceled.

Pontiac High School closed after 17-year-old shot, wounded
Gunshots ring out just outside elementary school in Pontiac

District officials in Pontiac made the decision to cancel Friday classes at Pontiac High School and the game after the shooting of a 17-year-old in Pontiac early Thursday morning.

The teenager was shot multiple times in the head and the legs according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. It happened near Herrington Elementary in Pontiac.

In a statement, Pontiac School District Superintendent Kelley Williams said the incident has "caused a great deal of despair and concern throughout Pontiac High School." The school closed Friday due to "a number of problems" within the building.

“First and foremost our thoughts are with the community in Pontiac," Shelton told Action News.

He sent a note to parents, and announced the cancelled game via the school's public announcement system Friday morning.

“I understand the circumstances. I just prayed for the people in Pontiac," said Farmington junior Margaret Bean, who is also a student athlete.

Farmington's homecoming parade continued as scheduled Friday evening, and the homecoming dance is scheduled as usual for Saturday. The homecoming king and queen are usually announced during the homecoming football game's halftime, so Shelton said that will take place during Saturday's dance instead.

With no game Friday, Farmington students, staff, and parents hosted a special Falcon tailgate.

"When I saw the email I was like oh no what are we doing to do. But my husband stepped up and he DJed the tailgating and we had a great time," said Darlien Pausch, parent of a senior athlete at Farmington High.

Because these games are scheduled so far in advance, Shelton said it's unlikely this game will happen at all.

"Even if there was room in ours, other schools’ schedules are really tight so the likelihood or rescheduling the game is probably pretty slim to none," he said.

Despite Friday's cancelled game, he said overall students made the best out of a tough situation.

“A lot of students in particular our football team were very upset, understandably. They’ve looked forward to this, a lot kids take the night off work so that they can be here. So there was a lot of disappointment but I think we worked hard to help our kids understand that there’s a bigger picture here," he said.

Classes in Pontiac will resume Monday.

Deputies are still working to figure out what led up to this shooting.

Detectives told Action News two suspects fled the scene, but left behind a 40 caliber handgun. A handgun, along with a cell phone, was also found on the victim.

Anyone with information should contact the Oakland County Sheriff's Office at 248-858-5000.