MSCS updates safety protocols at athletic events following stampede at football jamboree

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — All attendees must follow stricter safety measures at all Memphis-Shelby County Schools athletic events. The changes come after two frightening days for families attending the MSCS Football Jamborees at Crump Stadium in Midtown Thursday and Friday.

Friday, fears of a possible shooting sent students, staff and their families fleeing from the stadium.

Cell phone videos sent to FOX13 show a stampede of scared attendees running into the streets.

The Memphis Police Department (MPD) said no shooting or weapon was found that night. Instead, officers found two girls had gotten into a fight. No injuries were reported, and the girls were issued juvenile summons.

The scare Friday came one day after police arrested a teenager who did bring a gun to the football game Thursday night.

MPD said a 16-year-old boy “ran across the football field during a live game before being apprehended by SCS security ... Upon apprehending him, a Glock 19 9mm was found tucked in his clothing with (18) live rounds.”

That teenager now faces charges of carrying a weapon on school property and unlawful possession of a weapon.

People who live near the stadium in Midtown said they were disturbed to learn of two scares in as many days near their homes.

“Of course, that’s always a concern living in Midtown in Memphis,” said Ambria Arnold. “It’s concerning because of the safety; lots of kids go to the school, kids live in the neighborhood.”

In a statement, MSCS addressed the stampede Friday, saying:

“There were no police reports of gunshots during any of the three jamborees. It is unfortunate that all of our athletes did not get to compete during night two of competition due to a disturbance in the crowd that did NOT involve a weapon and that officers were able to deescalate. Principals were given information to share with their school communities about the abbreviated events during night two and updated safety protocols for athletic events. Our school leaders, coaches, and officers will continue to work together to help students have a successful athletic season.”

MSCS issued updated safety protocols Friday after the teen was arrested with a gun. The update includes searching for all staff, students, and visitors, a size limit on bags allowed, and no re-entry for attendees.

After a few frightening days at the high school football field, neighbors told FOX13 they’re relieved stricter safety measures will now be enforced.

“With football season coming up and all the athletic events coming up for the new school year, I think it’s always good to do extra things to keep the incident from Friday happening again,” said Arnold. “Anything that’s put in place to help keep kids safe, families safe, I think is for the best.”