STOCKTON -- A tense and explosive situation unfolded Thursday just off Stagg High School’s campus in Stockton where several fights broke out just after school let out.
It started with a fight between several girls who are seen in a cell phone video punching and grabbing at one another.
“Two of the young girls were fighting then it turned out to be three or four girls. And then they crossed the street and went into the other alley and tumbled over a couple of cars, fighting, hitting the ground,” said Theresa Saunders, the owner of the gift shop and party store just off-campus.
Saunders said fights after school happen about twice a month but this time there were several fights and hundreds of kids involved.
At one point, several of the bystanders created a circle around the girls fighting on the ground.
Saunders said that was just the beginning.
“All these different fights just started up. It's like, what happened at school? Was it the day to get revenge with each other? Because it's too many people fighting and it wasn't just one race, it was all races. They all were fighting each other,” Saunders said.
The Stockton Unified School District said in a statement:
At approximately 12:30 pm an altercation took place off-campus in the vicinity of Stagg High School. The school, in cooperation with Stockton Unified Police Department, began an immediate investigation. This is currently an active investigation, and we can confirm that students and non-students were involved. As with all matters of student safety, we have taken this very seriously and have and will act accordingly. Safety and security is a top priority in Stockton Unified.
Stockton police, according to Saunders, arrived on the scene late and ended up detaining at least one person. There was no official word about any arrests.
She also said two people were placed in ambulances.
The department did not comment publicly on Thursday's melee.
Saunders said she believes the violence after school among students needs to be addressed first at home.
“Maybe the parents, they need to talk to their kids and let them know it's not that important to fight and go tell somebody about the situation instead of waiting until you get out of school to create a fight,” she told FOX40.
Saunders' video is also in the hands of the police department to help identify some of those involved.