ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Normandy's Annual All Alumni Bonfire is meant to be a fundraiser for the school district and a way for former classmates to get together.
But a fun event turned into a scary situation. Saturday night, just before 11:45 p.m., St. Louis County police officers responded to a call for shots fired in the 10000 block of Crown Point Drive.
Normandy's Annual All Alumni Bonfire has been going on for seven years.
"It's just a tradition that we are carrying. Some of the proceeds from the event goes back to the high school that we all graduated from," one of the organizers of the Alumni Association, who didn't want to be identified, said.
It takes a whole year to get this event up and running. But this year, it's the first time they've ever seen something like this.
"It was a good time and then bam," one witness said
Hundreds of former classmates were hanging out in the open field when police said a disturbance broke out among several people.
"We can look and see the crowd and said what's going on and next thing you know gunfire nonstop," a 1996 Normandy graduate said. "It was just rolling gunfire. Just like that it went into complete chaos. I'm trying to get out here, duck down, I'm hiding under a car, I'm going under a fence to get to safety. It’s the worst situation that I've been in my life."
Five victims were shot — four men between the ages of 28 and 48 and a 31-year-old woman.
One of the shooting victims is an officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Police officials have not clarified whether he was on-duty or off-duty at the time. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the officer is in critical condition.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association confirmed it is helping the officer's family. Donations made through the Shield of Hope Charitable Foundation will go toward the officer and his family.
They helped the family financially today through their charity organization called Shield of Hope.
On Nov. 10, they plan to host a fundraiser at their union hall.
According to the union, the officer tried to intervene when shots broke out.
If you’d like donate to the family, contact their union hall at 314-353-3200
“Our officers rely heavily on secondary, overtime because they are so underpaid and be laid up like this and not having extra income and medical bills, it’s important that we and the community are there to help.”
"This is something that we came out here and didn't expect, we came out here to have a good time. Now we have classmates, who are in the hospital," one alumna adds.
But in order to show their support on Sunday morning, community members came to clean up the mess left behind.
The Alumni Association told 5 On Your Side this tragedy, won't end their tradition, "We are Viking strong, this definitely won't stop us."
Police said this does not appear to be a random shooting.
The investigation remains very active at this time.
Anyone with information is asked to call St. Louis County police at 636-529-8210 or leave an anonymous tip for CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.