Fayette County

Man shot in parking lot during Lexington middle school football game

Police tape was up in front of Southern Middle School after a shooting in the parking lot during a football game.
Police tape was up in front of Southern Middle School after a shooting in the parking lot during a football game. kward@herald-leader.com

Police are investigating a shooting that occurred in the parking lot at Southern Middle School during a football game Thursday night.

Lexington police Lt. Jackie Newman said police do not think the shooting was related to the sporting event.

Newman said a 20-year-old man injured in the shooting showed up at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg that was not life-threatening.

She said he and two other people who police were working to identify had gotten into a dispute in the parking lot outside the school.

“We believe they knew each other,” Newman said.

The weapons involved in the case have been recovered, she said.

She said that while the football game was going on in the back of the school, the shooting occurred near the front.

Newman said the school was placed on lockdown in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and students were ushered inside.

When police were called to Southern Middle on a report of shots fired at about 7:30 p.m., she said they found “a dynamic scene” in which some people were leaving as parents and friends arrived to pick up kids who had been at the game.

“The parking lot was completely full,” she said. “There were a lot of people who were upset, and rightfully so.”

Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said about 200 people were on campus for the football game between Southern and Bryan Station middle schools when “the violence found its way onto our campus.”

“The quick thinking and reaction of staff and leadership made sure that students were safe,” he said.

He said the school district had its law enforcement officers on campus for the football game, and they were working with Lexington police on the investigation.

Caulk said the school district will have a cruiser parked in front of Southern Middle Friday morning, and crisis management professionals will be available to provide support at both Southern and Bryan Station.

“We want our parents to rest assured that their students are safe,” Caulk said.

Newman said the shooting victim, who is also considered a suspect in the case, is not from this area.

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