HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A high school student was severely injured after members of two school spirit squads reportedly met in two parking lots where violence erupted in Hendersonville.
According to a release from the Hendersonville Criminal Investigations Division, it happened on Saturday when students from Hendersonville High School and Beech High School were participating in “War Teams”.
The teams were advised to have been “patrolling” near a Publix shopping center when the initial conflict began. Detectives said eight to ten vehicles loaded with teenagers from Hendersonville High School and Beech High School confronted each other. According to investigators, the teens yelled and fired airsoft weapons at each other.
Commander Scott Ryan of the Hendersonville Police Department said, “This got way out of hand. People got hurt, and there’s no need for it. They were smack-talking back and forth, and they have amassed a collection of air soft weapons that they see fit to shoot at each other in public with. Despite the name, those weapons can be very powerful. They can dent metal and can put an eye out. They are shooting at each other like it’s some kind of game.”
Investigators said the incident moved into the parking lot of Hendersonville High School where a physical fight began between several Hendersonville High School and Beech High School students.
“There they exchanged air soft rounds, and Hendersonville was able to box in a Beech car, and from that point, people got out and they are firing airsoft rounds at each other, and it turns to physical violence. The next thing you know we have punching, kicking, stomping and hitting with guns. One person at least was struck with an Airsoft gun causing a severe laceration. I think these kids, 16-18-years-old, have no realization of the severity of what has just occurred, and we are here to tell them this is completely unacceptable.”
During the altercation, one student from Beech High School was severely injured. Commander Ryan told News 2 the student had head wounds that required medical attention to close the wound.
Both a 17-year-old and 16-year-old from Hendersonville High School were arrested. They are being charged with robbery, simple assault, and vandalism under $1000.
Hendersonville police said they do not condone this type of behavior, and it is important for sports rivalries to remain controlled for the safety of the community.
Investigators said any future actions taken by students which escalate into criminal acts will be charged accordingly.
The rivalry game between Hendersonville and Beech is scheduled for Friday, September 3rd at Hendersonville. Police assure the public there will be a lot of security on hand.
Jeremy Johnson, the Public Information Officer with the Sumner County School System, told News 2, “School administration is working with law enforcement to investigate this incident and potential law enforcement charges and school disciplinary action will be taken once that investigation is complete. Sumner School officials stress this wasn’t activity sanctioned by the school.”
Police are asking anyone with information or video to contact them at the Hendersonville Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at (615) 264-5303 or by calling Hendersonville Crime Stoppers at 615-594-4113.