JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A teenage student was shot Friday night just minutes before the end of a spring football game at Terry Parker High School in Arlington, authorities said.
The shooting happened about 9 p.m. on school property just outside the fenced-in area of the football field. Duval Public Schools Police Department Director Micheal Edwards said there were four minutes left in the game at the time when a student, described as a teenage boy, was shot.
The teen was taken to UF Health hospital, where he was reportedly in life-threatening condition. Officials did not release his age and the name of the school he attends, but family told News4Jax that he is 16 years old.
Dr. Diana Greene, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, and Megan Pardue, principal of Terry Parker High, both offered their thoughts to the student’s family.
Pardue said she wants to make sure what happened Friday night doesn’t affect the school.
“Proud to be a Brave and don’t want that to change,” she said.
She also shared a message for Terry Parker parents: “Continue to trust what we’re doing here at Terry Parker.”
Andre’ Ellis, with the website DuvalSports.com, first reported shots were fired outside the stadium during the spring football game between Terry Parker and Ribault. Ellis posted a photo to social media that showed players lying on the ground as a safety precaution.
“I heard the noise. When I turned around, I saw everybody running,” one Terry Parker football player told News4Jax. “I was trying to see if my family was straight.”
Edwards said between 1,000 and 1,500 people were in the football stadium at the time of the incident.
“I heard one loud gunshot and everyone took off running in different directions. People were running in different directions of the stadium,” a mother told News4Jax by phone. “The general area where it happened is where most people were running. Others were running down stands, trying to grab little ones. It was craziness. Players were told to get on the ground. It was crazy.”
“It’s frightening. You’re trying to have a form of safe entertainment when you come to the games. It’s just not safe,” she added.
Duval County Public Schools endured a tragedy in Week 1 of the 2018 season following a shooting outside the gates of the Raines-Lee football game. One person was killed and two were injured in the shooting, which prompted a change in both security and game times at select schools. Kickoff times were rearranged for rivalry games, including Mandarin-Sandalwood, Raines-First Coast and Lee-Westside among several others. Game times were 10 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
In 2012, there was a shooting that followed a Raines-Lee game. That shooting left a 20-year-old severely injured.
As for the spring game Friday night, according to Edwards, everyone going inside the stadium was wanded before entering the game, but the shooting took place outside the area of wanding and security. He could not release the exact number of officers at the game, but said the amount there was the amount that was supposed to be there.
Greene added that school officials will have the summer to review procedures and practices, but said the district made changes to lighting after the Raines shooting.
The Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency investigating Friday night’s shooting.
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