TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Police are investigating after a person fired a shot during a fight during a spring football game at Palmetto High School on Wednesday.
Police said what appeared to be a group of students had a fight near the touchline at the end of the match. When school staff and police tried to break up the fight, they heard a gunshot.
The group dispersed to different areas for security reasons and the police found a gun on the ground.
No injuries were reported.
Police said they identified a “person of interest” in the case, but his name was not released.
Luke Bustle with TigerVision tells 8 On Your Side that he was in the press box as an observer as the incident unfolded around him.
“When that gunshot happened, we in the press box had no idea where that gunshot came from, but people were absolutely running for their lives,” Bustle said. “We didn’t know it at the time up there, but we could see people tripping over each other, trying to get out, we have players sprinting around the pitch running faster than they have never raced in their life.”
He went on to say that authorities responded quickly to the incident.
“We must honor the men and women who serve in this community with the Palmetto Police Department and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. They did a fantastic job of defusing this and keeping it as it was, which was an isolated incident between two kids who were jerks,” Luke Bustle said. “That doesn’t happen in Palmetto. We are a safe community and we are safe because of the response we had last night,” he continued.
Manatee County School District officials sent 8 On Your Side the following statement:
“The Palmetto Police Department is actively investigating the incident at last night’s game. We are cooperating with this investigation and our district security personnel are also looking into this matter. We believe this is a isolated incident unrelated to the game and we are extremely grateful that no one was injured. Out of an abundance of caution, we have an additional security presence in and around Palmetto High School today. Additionally, out of an abundance of caution, we will be reinforcing safety measures for our three remaining spring football home games: Bayshore hosting Bradenton Christian tonight, Lakewood Ranch hosting Seminole Osceola tonight, and Braden River hosting Pinellas Park Friday night.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Palmetto Police Department at 941-723-4587 or Manatee County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477).