A security officer was critically injured on Saturday after being shot in the head while attempting to intervene in a brawl during the final quarter of a high school football game in Utica. The incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. in the parking lot of Thomas R. Proctor High School, according to local law enforcement.
The altercation involved approximately a dozen individuals, and at least two gunshots were fired, as captured in video footage of the incident. One of the two security officers who had tried to intervene was hit by a bullet and fell to the ground. He was immediately transported to a nearby hospital where he is currently in critical condition.
The group involved in the violence had been denied entry to the varsity game against Binghamton High School by another school security officer just moments before the shooting, Utica Police Chief Mark Williams reported. The school’s stadium is equipped with metal detectors, but the group was turned away before they could be screened for weapons.
The officer “had suspicions about the group and decided not to let them into the stadium,” Williams explained. The police are currently searching for a single shooter believed to be responsible for the incident. The motive behind the altercation remains unclear, but authorities are considering the possibility of gang involvement.
This incident in Utica follows a similar event just a week prior, where a student was killed and an adult woman was injured during a shooting at a high school football game in Louisiana. An 18-year-old man was subsequently arrested in connection with the shooting, although the circumstances leading up to the incident have not been disclosed.
In another related incident last month, a 16-year-old was fatally shot during an Oklahoma high school football game. The shooting, which caused panic among players and spectators, was caught on camera.