The shooting took place in the parking lot of the Ice Arena on Saturday, January 22.EAST ALTON - An Edwardsville mother of a young hockey player was inside the East Alton Ice Arena at the time of the shooting in the outside parking lot on Saturday, January 22, 2022. Her perspective shows the emotion children and parents felt after the tragic ordeal outside.

"There are no words to describe last weekend's events," the woman said. "My son, had a hockey game at 6:45 Saturday night. It was a great match-up. We were ahead by one until the last 2 minutes when the other team scored two goals and won."

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The hockey game was over at 7:45 p.m.

"The kids got changed in the locker rooms and joined the parents in the lobby to head home for the night," she said. "Usually, we would head out fairly quickly, but thankfully one of the dads was chatting with us about something funny my son said in the locker room. The next thing I know a family from the other team came running inside in complete shock and could hardly talk but spit out 'shooting.' You can't imagine the panic and fear that set in with everyone there. Seeing that kind of fear in your kids, in other's kids, in parents, coaches, workers, etc. is not something you ever want to see or feel."

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She said kids and parents ran to the back seeking safety away from the front doors. Several dads went running outside to help as we all knew many families were out there loading up to go home.

"We were the lucky ones. The families this happened to and the others who were outside and witnessed this happen are suffering the most. They will likely carry fear for a very long time. My heart goes out to all of you."

She added: "We were in lockdown inside when we heard that a grandma and aunt of one of our teammates were shot. There is no way to describe the feeling of being close to this completely random attack at an ice rink where a ton of families go daily, including one of the best families I know. If it happened to them, it could have happened to anyone. We have had a lot of open conversations at home with the kids, spent nights sleeping with the kids, and are thankful for the immediate support from the school district with counseling and reassurance of their safety from teachers.

"The Twin Bridges Lightning (TBL) 10U-C2 hockey team is forever united by this and will be brave as we continue playing this season and especially this week. The suspect who got away for a few days is now in jail.

"This person will never understand the aftermath of his actions, but I am relieved he has been captured."

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