Pepper spray used to stop fight at Sacramento Charter High School prompts evacuation

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) —  A basketball battle between long-time rivals Sacramento Charter and Grant High School took an unexpected turn.

Near the end of the varsity girls game Saturday night, chaos off the court sent people running.

“A kid just shouted out that ‘they’re shooting.’ And yes, when you say something like that, it is going to uproar people’s attention,” said mother of Grant High School student Margo Santana.

Police said there was no shooting. Rather a fight broke out in the gym’s lobby between two people. But parents like Santana didn’t know that at the time.

“Our first thing was where is everything going on and how do we get to safety for our kids,” said Santana.

A private security firm hired by Sacramento charter High School used pepper spray to break up the fight, but the gas filled the lobby, spreading into the gym.

“I don’t think using pepper spray is appropriate at all because you have asthmatic, you have heart conditions, you have a whole lot of medical issues. Their eyes were just red, they were all crying. You couldn’t hardly breath. It was choking,” said Santana.

Sacramento Charter High School did not respond to requests for an interview but Chief of Schools for St. HOPE Kari Wehrly sent FOX40 a statement Saturday saying in part:

Safety is our utmost priority and we will continue to examine our campus activities and upcoming game schedules, identify potential safety issues, and take every reasonable action to ensure the safest experience possible for all in attendance.

Santana is glad to see the school stepping up but says parents need to take action too.

“So we can say, hey, you know what, we can control this,” said Santana.

Sacramento High said the people fighting did not go to their school. No one was taken to the hospital.

Full statement from Wehrly:

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