The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Duval County School Police continue to investigate a shooting outside a football game. It happened Friday night after the game at First Coast High School.
The suspect was identified as 15-year-old Devonn Thompson.
Action News Jax spoke to a mother whose son plays for First Coast High School, she said she is concerned about safety going forward. It comes after JSO and DCPS said they heard about potential battles earlier in the day, which happened, adding that they had already added extra security for the game.
Chaos erupted after the game and video given to Action News showed Jax people running from the sound of gunfire.
Devonn Thompson, 15, was shot by police and is facing charges after JSO says he fired into a large crowd fighting outside and after the game. Officers working at a traffic control near the school grounds rushed to the rescue, saying he ran after being told to drop his weapon. JSO released a photo of the gun on Saturday afternoon.
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Officers chased Thompson across the parking lot and he fired into the lower half of his body, a bullet grazing his head. He was taken into custody and taken to a local hospital after they detained him at a nearby business.
DCPS Police Chief Greg Burton said a decision was made to end the game early around the 3rd quarter due to fighting. Stacey S. is a soccer mom, whose son plays for FCHS and has seen fights first hand.
“Your life isn’t worth a beef, your life isn’t worth he-said-she-said, it’s not worth popularity,” she said. “You are worth more than a bullet with your name on it.”
It’s unclear if the 15-year-old was a student at either school, but Burton said there were safety protocols in place, so they don’t believe guns were involved.
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DCPS Superintendent, Dr. Dana Kriznar, released the following statement:
It is extremely disappointing that community violence affected one of our high school football games. I am very thankful for the plan our police department has put together in conjunction with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. That plan and the contingent of officers present most likely prevented a greater tragedy, and I commend all law enforcement officers who were at the game. I also commend the principals of the two schools who made the decision to end the game early. They put student safety first, and student safety is our number one value.
Any event like this will trigger an assessment to determine if additional measures need to be taken for future safety and security. I will be working with police leaders to quickly conduct that analysis and support law enforcement in any way I can to ensure that future football games are as safe as possible. Safety and security will always be our main goal.
District 8 Councilman Reggie Gaffney Jr. also issued a statement saying he wants to arrange a meeting with the mayor’s office, JSO and DCPS police to discuss future safety plans for high school sports.
Action News Jax asked Stacey if she will feel safe going into the next game and for the rest of the season.
“I can’t say with 100 percent certainty that I’ll feel 100 percent safe, but I’ll do my best to make sure I’m paying attention,” she said. “You don’t want to be an innocent bystander; you don’t want to be a victim of this violence if you’re just trying to be there as a supporter of the school and students.”
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She called all this disappointing.
“You have kids who work hard to showcase their talents, parents who work hard to support their kids to showcase that talent, so it was very discouraging and upsetting in nature,” she said.
At the latest check, JSO said the 15-year-old suspect was at a local hospital, he is charged with firing a firearm on school grounds and carrying a concealed firearm. JFRD confirmed with Action News Jax on Friday evening that they have taken someone from the area to hospital in serious condition.
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