UTICA, NY- A security officer was critically injured on Saturday when he was shot in the head while attempting to intervene in a brawl during the last quarter of a high school football game in Utica. The violent incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. in the parking area of Thomas R. Proctor High School, as reported by local law enforcement.
The altercation involved approximately a dozen individuals. As the security officer and his colleague tried to disperse the crowd, at least two gunshots were fired, as captured in a video of the incident. The officer was hit by one of the bullets and collapsed on the spot. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where he is currently fighting for his life.
According to Utica Police Chief Mark Williams, the group involved in the fight had been denied entry into the varsity game against Binghamton High School by another school law enforcement officer just before the shooting. The stadium is equipped with metal detectors, but the group was turned away before any potential weapons could be detected. The officer had suspicions about the group and decided not to let them into the stadium, Williams explained.
Authorities are currently searching for a single gunman believed to be responsible for the shooting. The motive behind the brawl and subsequent shooting remains unclear, but police are considering the possibility of gang involvement.
This incident in Utica comes on the heels of a similar event last week when a student was killed and a woman was injured during a shooting at a high school football game in Louisiana. An 18-year-old man was arrested in connection with the shooting, but the circumstances leading up to the incident have not been disclosed. In a separate incident last month, a 16-year-old boy was killed when gunfire broke out during a football game in Oklahoma, causing panic among players and spectators.