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Kokomo Beach to reopen Friday with added security after Tuesday shooting

A 15-year-old was shot after a fight broke out at Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center Tuesday night.

KOKOMO, Ind. — Investigators say a fight among two teenagers at a Kokomo water park Tuesday evening led to one being shot and some 700 people running for safety.

Police say around 5 p.m. two male teens got into a heated argument on the pool deck... with the altercation moving to the parking lot, as others joined in, with the fight ending in gunfire.

RELATED: 'It was pure chaos' | Boy shot at Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

Kayla Hancock, a mother of two, was out front when she saw it all unfold.

She said she saw a group of teens run out the entrance with "about eight people throwing each other on the ground and getting into a fistfight."

Moments later Hancock saw "one guy pull out a gun and shoot the other guy."

Credit: Kokomo Tribune/ Tim Bath
Howard County Sheriff's deputies and officers with Kokomo Police Department walk into Kokomo Beach on Tuesday after one person was shot in front of the family aquatic center.

Police said a 17-year-old male shot a 15-year-old boy. The victim was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital and was listed in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon. 

The alleged shooter was taken to the Kinsey Youth Center for the felonies of dangerous possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen handgun.

Credit: Kokomo Tribune/ Tim Bath
Officers with the Kokomo Police Department walk into Kokomo Beach on Tuesday after one person was shot in front of the family aquatic center.

Hancock said it was terrifying. She feared a stray bullet would hit her children. Fortunately, no one else was hurt, but plenty were shaken.

John Cleaver, who grew up going to the pool and later taking his kids there said, "It's horrible, especially at a public place like that."

Police aren't sure what prompted the fight, but they hope newly installed security cameras at the pool may shed some light and help identify the other teens involved.  

As of now, they don't know if the shooter had the gun in the pool area or retrieved it from the parking lot. Either way, Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore said when the pool reopens Friday, police officers and/or sheriffs deputies will be there.

Credit: WTHR
A sign outside Kokomo Beach Family Aquatics Center says the facility is closed. It shut down after a boy was shot there on Tuesday.

Moore said, "the police presence will be every day the beach is open for the remainder of summer and in future years, yes."

He said security measures also include having officers help check bags as people enter the facility.

"We want people to see the police presence here and know it will be safe at the beach and park as well," Moore said referring to the adjacent Foster Park, which has also had issues with juvenile crime and illegal activity.

When asked if he thought it would rise to a shooting outside a city pool, Cleaver said, "no, no, not in a million years, not in Kokomo... it's horrible."