A 16-year-old is accused of shooting a high school security guard in the back of the head as the guard tried breaking up a fight in a school parking lot in New York, police said.
On Saturday, Sept. 9, a brawl ensued outside the Proctor High School football stadium in Utica during the end of a game between the school and Binghamton High School, according to the Utica Police Department.
At least two Utica City School District security guards stepped in to stop the fight when two gunshots were fired, hitting one of the guards in the head, a Sept. 9 police news release said. The guard was later identified by officials as Jeff Lynch during a Sept. 11 school news conference.
As authorities continued their search for a suspect, a 16-year-old turned himself in Sept. 10, police said in a new release issued that day.
The teen was arrested on charges of second-degree attempted murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds and more, according to authorities.
The 16-year-old, who isn’t being publicly identified because he’s a minor, is not a Proctor High School student and attends an “alternative educational program,” police said.
Despite being shot in the head, Lynch is “recovering well” at a Utica hospital after he was listed in critical but stable condition, Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said at the Utica City School District news conference Sept. 11.
“There’s a chance he may be released at the hospital in the very near future,” Williams added.
At the Sept. 9 school district news conference, Williams said those involved in the fight outside the stadium had tried entering the Sept. 8 football game during the fourth quarter but were stopped from doing so.
The Utica City School District made counseling available to staff and students Sept. 11 as a result of the shooting, according to district superintendent Dr. Kathleen Davis.
“I do want to say thank you to Jeff Lynch for his bravery,” Davis said at the Sept. 11 news conference.
Police are working with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office to see whether they can prosecute the teen as an adult, according to police.
“Additional charges may be filed against this individual, and we are exploring the elements of other charges against other individuals involved in the altercation,” police said.
Utica is about 100 miles northwest of Albany.