The school year has just begun for children across the country, and already there have been shootings near high school football games two weekends in a row. Friday night’s shootings took place in three different states and left two people dead and three injured. Two of the shootings account for the deaths and injuries — one in Jacksonville, Florida, and the other in Fairfield, California.
ABC News reports that a shooting near Raines High School in Jacksonville killed one person and injured two. The game was between two Duval County public schools. Raines’ opponent was Lee High School. The county’s school superintendent said that the usual security was in place during the game, but the shooting occurred afterwards near the stadium’s main gate as people were leaving. Michael Edwards, Director of the Duval County School Police Department, said there were 50 officers in attendance that night.
The shooting in Fairfield, California, happened during a junior varsity football game at Armijo High School about 5 p.m. A 16-year-old was killed and an 18-year-old was critically injured. Officers from the Fairfield Police Department put the school on lockdown and moved about 500 students and parents to the gymnasium while they searched for two shooters. One of the shooters made it into the gym where he was arrested without a fight. The other suspect was arrested a couple of blocks away. Police have not said whether the victims were students at Armijo High School.
BREAKING: Gunfire halts an opening week high school football game in Rockford, IL. Game between Auburn-Freeport had 10 minutes left. Players laying low out of precaution in the moments after in this photo. No reports of any injuries.— Matt Rodewald FOX 10 (@Matt_Fox10) August 25, 2018
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The third shooting in Rockford, Illinois, had no victims and occurred about 9:45 p.m. The season opening game between Freeport High School and Auburn High School was stopped with 10 minutes left in the game after shots were heard nearby. Players and coaches hit the ground as a safety precaution. Police say the shooters were in their cars off school property and the incident had nothing to do with the football game. The scene was cleared by 10:30 p.m., according to WREX. A cheerleader injured her shoulder in the rush to leave the stadium.
On August 17, two people were shot during a preseason game in Wellington, Florida, at Palm Beach Central High School. Local 10 reported that one man was airlifted from the football field, and another was driven to the hospital. Both victims were adults and were not students of either Palm Beach Central or their opponent, William T. Dwyer Community High School. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said detectives with the violent crimes division would conduct an investigation to try to identify the shooter.