The Charlotte Observer
Alarmed parents swarmed a Texas high school after a shooting was reported on campus, leading to a chaotic clash with police.
Jefferson High School went into lockdown on Tuesday, Sept. 20, following a call to the San Antonio Police Department claiming shots had been fired inside a classroom, the school said in a news release. Nearly 100 officers, including SAPD and the school district’s own police force, “responded immediately,” surrounding and searching the building.
The reported shooting was quickly determined to be false, but hundreds of parents — scared their children could be in harm’s way — were already at the school or on the way, news outlets reported.
Tensions ran high as some parents tried to get inside the school, while others demanded their kids be released immediately, TV station WOAI reported.
At one point, a man shatters a window with a large knife, apparently in an attempt to enter the building, the outlet reported. He injures himself in the process and is thrown to the ground by police, video shows.
WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO AND STRONG LANGUAGE— Matt Roy (@MattRoy_TV) September 20, 2022
Parent punches and breaks window, cuts his wrist or hand before brawl breaks out on campus of Jefferson high. Madness ensues.
Kids have now been released pic.twitter.com/HtGA5JajrE
A group of parents surge toward the wounded man and officers form a human barricade against the crowd. Commands from police are indistinguishable among the yelling and screaming.
More of the Brawl.— Matt Roy (@MattRoy_TV) September 20, 2022
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND IMAGES pic.twitter.com/r9YfuHZZMm
“We are overwhelmed with fear of the worst,” Pete Vela, father of a 15-year-old student, told the San Antonio Express-News.
Uvalde was at the top of many parent’s minds, outlets reported.
The May 24 elementary school shooting left 21 dead, including 19 children, and it took 80 minutes for law enforcement to kill the shooter. Parents were gathered around the school, many eager to get inside and take action while well-armed officers inside and outside the building stood waiting when more lives could have been saved.
A similar frantic and frustrated atmosphere was on display Tuesday in San Antonio, the Express-News reported.
Uvalde is about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
“I definitely got over here quick. I left work and came quick,” Vela said, waiting outside the school with his wife. “Ultimately if there was somebody in there, then I don’t blame the parents for wanting to get in, especially after what happened in Uvalde.”
The false shooting report may have stemmed from a fight among several students at Jefferson High School, Jaime Aquino, superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District, said in a statement.
“We recognize that today was discomforting,” the statement read. “Safety-first is the procedure we followed today, and will continue to follow, so that you and your loved ones remain safe.”
Aquino added that counseling services would be made available to students and staff.
“Many of us are parents ourselves, and all of our students are like our children. We will do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe from harm.”