A high school football game in Utica, New York, took a violent turn on Saturday when a security guard was shot in the back of the head while attempting to break up a fight. The incident occurred in the last quarter of the game at Thomas R. Proctor High School, just after 4 p.m.
Video footage captured the chaotic scene, showing a group of about a dozen people brawling on the pavement outside the school. Suddenly, two gunshots were heard, and one of the two security guards, who had been trying to separate the fighting parties, fell to the ground, struck by a bullet.
The injured security officer was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, police apprehended a teenage suspect in relation to the shooting. The suspect, a 16-year-old, has been charged with several weapons offenses and attempted murder.
Prior to the shooting, the group involved in the brawl had been denied entry to a varsity game at the nearby Binghamton High School. Despite the presence of metal detectors at the stadium, the security guard had turned the group away, suspecting something amiss. Utica Police Chief Mark Williams commended the guard’s intuition, stating, “He suspected that something wasn’t right with this group and he refused to lead into the stadium.”
While the motive behind the shooting remains unclear, Williams suggested it could be gang-related. The injured security guard, whose identity has not been disclosed, is in critical condition but is expected to survive.
The 16-year-old suspect is currently in custody, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing. Police are seeking to interview all those present at the game during the incident. This event marks the latest in a series of violent incidents at high school football games, including a recent shooting at a Louisiana high school football game that resulted in one student’s death and a woman’s injury.
The Utica Police Department has reassured the public that all students present at the game are safe and accounted for. They are currently reviewing surveillance and social media videos to gather more information about the incident. They urge anyone with information to contact them or submit an anonymous tip online through Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers.