Gunshots, assaults send Virginia high school football game into lockdown

Virginia News

ESSEX, Va. (WRIC) — Violence broke out at a football game at Essex High School Friday night, with physical altercations spiraling into gunfire.

In a statement, Sheriff W.A. Holmes said a fight broke out in front of the school’s ticket booth at 8:23 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, moving into a nearby parking lot. At that time, according to the sheriff, two deputies were assaulted.

Less than 10 minutes later, several shots were fired in the parking lot, causing school staff to activate a panic alarm. Players, coaches and attendees took cover in the stadium, and moments later, a dark-colored SUV and white sedan drove by the high school, firing several shots.

Police are now searching for those vehicles, and say they have identified several persons of interest thanks to tips from the community.

A Northumberland County juvenile has been arrested and charged with assaulting an officer, but the case remains under investigation.

The sheriff’s office now say there were no bystander injuries, but two deputies were treated at a nearby hospital for minor injuries.

Essex High School principal Damean Barfield said the school division was working with local law enforcement to resolve the “unnecessary, unwelcome behavior.” Read the principal’s full statement below:

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