Utica City School District Security Officer Shot in Head While Breaking Up Fight
The fight broke out during a football game Saturday between Proctor High School and Binghamton High School.
UTICA, N.Y. — A school security officer was shot in the head Saturday after a high school football game in upstate New York.
A fight broke out shortly after 3 p.m. in the Proctor High School parking lot during the school’s first home football game against Binghamton High School, reports WWMT. Video taken by a witness shows several Utica City School District (UCSD) security officers attempting to break up the fight when two gunshots were fired. One of the officers, Jeff Lynch, was shot in the back of the head.
Lynch said he thought he was hit in the back of the head with a pipe or some sort of heavy object when his vision went and he fell to the ground. He was transported to St. Elizabeth Medical Center where it was determined the bullet did not penetrate his skull. He received stitches and chipped his tooth when he fell but was released from the hospital on Monday.
“I’m definitely blessed. The sunshine feels a little brighter today. I just want to thank everybody that reached out to me and my family,” Lynch told WKTV as he left the hospital. “I know today’s September 11th. It’s a monumental day. Going forward, I want to be a champion of this cause with the city, with the youth, and get our kids straight.”
A 16-year-old suspect, who attends an alternative education program, was arrested on Sunday and faces multiple felony charges, including second-degree attempted murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, criminal possession of a firearm, and first-degree criminal use of a firearm. Utica Police said additional charges may be filed and they are considering filing charges against others involved in the altercation.
UCSD Interim Superintendent Kathleen Davis said the district sent out letters to the eight people involved in the fight informing them they are not allowed in Utica schools, according to The Observer-Dispatch. She declined to say how many of them actually attend Utica schools.
The fight started after a group did not meet the criteria to advance to the metal detectors and into the stadium. UCSD Interim Superintendent Kathleen Davis said only parents will be allowed into sporting events for the next week as a security precaution, according to The Observer-Dispatch.
Davis said the district will increase security staff at a junior varsity football game on Saturday from eight to 12 officers and move sports practices to more secure areas with security present. UCSD officials will meet with opposing teams’ school leaders to discuss security planning for upcoming games.
The district has also increased security at its schools, including having students show their IDs before going through a weapons detection system. Davis said more electrical outlets will be added at Proctor to speed up the processing of students.
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