Brawl at Mpls South High School reportedly involves hundreds, lands students in hospital [UPDATE]
South was locked down this afternoon after a food fight escalated into a massive brawl.
-- Updates at bottom of post, with newest updates further down --
Today, a massive brawl at South High School in Minneapolis resulted in at least two students being transported to the hospital.
According to South officials, the incident began as a food fight and escalated from there.
From the Star Tribune: "Emergency scanner communication indicates that numerous ambulances have responded to assist with injured students and staff members." KSTP reports a female student was carried out on a stretcher.
KARE, citing witnesses, reports that "hundreds" may have been involved.
South High has just published a statement about the fight. Here it is in its entirety:
South High School on February 14 was placed on a precautionary code yellow lockdown due to a food fight that escalated into a physical fight.
The incident took place during third period lunch. It began at approximately 12:45 p.m. and lasted 15 minutes. Staff members responded immediately to the incident and followed proper security procedures. The school resource officer and Minneapolis police responded to the matter.
Instruction continued as usual during the code yellow lockdown, but students remained in their classrooms during class periods. South will remain on a code yellow until further notice.
Maintaining a safe environment for our students is a top priority. Fighting is not tolerated at school or on school property. We are committed to following the MPS discipline policy in instances of fighting.
:::: UPDATES ::::
KSTP has somehow obtained raw video footage of the fight. Here it is:
The Star Tribune, citing a conversation with a student, reports that the conflict was "racial in nature."
For more updates, click to page two.
WCCO is quoting MPD spokesman Sgt. William Palmer as saying no weapons were involved in the fight, and all injuries were minor.
A student witness told a KARE 11 photojournalist that the fight started in the school's lunch room and spilled into the commons area. That student said the fight escalated and involved as many as 300 students.
Witnesses also say that dozens of police officers responded to the scene with guns drawn, and used mace on students to break up the melee.
HCMC spokesperson Robert Ball says emergency crews responded to the scene and at least four people were taken away on stretchers. There is also a report that staff members were injured in the melee but that is not confirmed at this point.
From the Star Tribune's Kelly Smith:
Students outside South High say racial fight broke out in cafeteria, hundreds invoked, 25 injured, they say. twitter.com/kellystrib/sta...-- Kelly Smith (@kellystrib) February 14, 2013
Here are some tweets from South High students:
My sister is a senior at South High School. I received the following text: "They pepper sprayed everybody. Had out assault rifles & sh*t...-- Angelica Carol (@angelicAbomb) February 14, 2013
lol a food fight that turned into a real fight with 300 students at south high school. #nice-- Tina (: (@tinaavang) February 14, 2013
Still active scene at South High School twitter.com/daveberggren/s...-- Dave Berggren (@daveberggren) February 14, 2013
Shit just got soo fuking real at south ahahahaa-- Gadise ጋዲሴ (@Disepoo) February 14, 2013
Craziest shit I've seen at South-- Kameren Lymon (@KamLymon) February 14, 2013
From Fridley Patch's Chris Steller:
Students telling me police sprayed chemical at line of students watching fights and police apprehending ppl--after kids threw food at cops.-- Chris Steller (@chris_steller) February 14, 2013
From KARE's Jay Olstad and Becky Rohde-Eckblad:
Police: officers pelted with things. Staff members pushed to the ground during fights at #south high.-- Jay Olstad (@jayolstadtv) February 14, 2013
No arrests in fight at Mpls South HS.Staff meeting this afternoon to decide if school will be in session tomorrow.-- Becky Rohde-Eckblad (@Becky_Eckblad) February 14, 2013
Newly published footage from the South brawl shows an out-of-control scene in the school cafeteria as students run and shriek while gathering round to watch the melee. At the end of the seven-minute clip, an alarm bell begins to ring continuously. Shortly thereafter, for a reason that isn't quite discernible in the video, students begin running away from the cafeteria in the hurry. Here's the footage:
Finally, the Star Tribune, citing "some pupils," now reports that the brawl "is connected to long-running racial tension in the school among Somalis and others."
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