Fans ran, players froze. Who incited panic at a Lexington high school football game?

Panic erupted in the fourth quarter of Friday’s football game between Lexington’s Frederick Douglass and Bryan Station high schools when frightened fans believed someone had a gun at the game, Fayette school officials said in a statement just before midnight Friday.

Fayette County Public Schools officials said they found no evidence that there was a gun present at the game held at Douglass and no one was injured. They are investigating who incited the panic, reviewing policies and procedures, and might put limitations on unaccompanied minors at games.

“According to initial reports, an unaccompanied younger student sitting on the Douglass side of the stands shouted that someone had a gun,” the statement said.

“In response, some fans in the nearby area ran out of the stadium, while others laid down in the bleachers. The game stopped for a brief period while players also got down on the field,” district officials said. “We are actively investigating to determine those responsible for inciting this panic.”

They said although they have seen social media postings to the contrary, none of the police officers, adult chaperones, or administrators at the game heard the sound of shots or firecrackers.

“We will be examining our policies and practices to ensure the safety of everyone who gathers to cheer on our student athletes, which may include limitations on unaccompanied minors at games,” the statement said.

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