Teens say gang-related rivalry escalated into shots Wednesday evening

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A fight got out of hand near a school in Moline Wednesday evening. 

The victim is being treated for non-life threatening injuries but students tell Local 4 News it’s been brewing for days now. 

Moline police say they responded to a shots fired call just after 5:00 p.m. 

That’s when officers found one person with a possible gunshot wound just blocks away from Logan Elementary School. 

Police haven’t been able to pinpoint where the shooting actually happened.     

Today’s shooting also happened just minutes away from Moline High School. 

Classes have only been in session for about a week there but students at the scene tell Local 4 News that fights have already been breaking out, with at least one every day this week and six Wednesday alone. 
They say it all tipped over after school this afternoon when gunshots rang out.

It’s when Leah Benjamin’s normal walk home went south.

“I’m very appalled,” Leah says.  

“30 to 50 people all coming down and within five to10 minutes they were all fighting in the streets,” she recalls. 

The 16-year-old lives near the scene; 25th Street and 16th Avenue in Moline. 

“I had eventually gone home because I didn’t feel very safe.”

But minutes later… 

“10 minutes later I heard a gunshot and I was really scared,” Leah says. 

Moline Police say one person was possibly wounded by the gunfire and that other weapons were also used during the fight. 

Investigators also say they responded to another disturbance call earlier in the day nbut aren’t sure yet if the two fights are related. 

“We had a bunch of juveniles trying to fight, officers were trying to disperse that crowd. Thought that was handled but apparently it bubbled back up this evening,” says Moline Police Sergeant Eli Soliz. 

Leah says fights have become a common occurrence in the halls. 

“At Moline High School that’s just something I’ve gotten used to.” 

But she never thought it would escalate beyond the brick walls. 

“Stuff like this has never happened in my neighborhood and I’ve never been so scared in my entire life.” 

And now, she has a message for her peers. 

“People who fight think that there’s going to be something resolved in the end, but fighting just makes everything worse and there’s nothing good that comes out of it,” Leah says. 

Another group of students tells Local 4 News that the fights this week have been gang-related and have been escalating on social media– especially Snapchat. 

They didn’t want to speak on camera for fear of being targeted. 

Police weren’t able to confirm or deny gang affiliation, yet. 

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