SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WMBB) — Local authorities put Rutherford High School on lockdown Monday afternoon after officials say a riot broke out in the school courtyard.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said they got a call from the school’s resource officer around 1:30 p.m. Monday asking for help.
The Springfield Police Department was the first on scene and as soon as they saw how many students were involved they called for backup as well.
“We received a call over the radio from our school resource deputy here at Rutherford that he needed assistance with a large fight in the courtyard,” Ford said. “Indicated there were about 50 students that were fighting.”
Sheriff Ford said they quickly responded along with the Panama City, and Parker Police Departments.
Sheriff Ford said no students were injured in the fight.
“We had a deputy that received some minor injuries to his hand but that’s the only injury to my knowledge,” Ford said.
Once they were able to break up the fight, sheriff’s deputies say they learned there could be a girl on campus with a weapon.
The school then went into lockdown as deputies conducted a room-to-room search of the campus.
“We were able to find a female that was described as a female with a pink hoodie,” Ford said. “We were able to find her in a classroom and upon a search, we were able to find a firearm in her waistband. It turned out to be an airsoft or some type of pellet rifle.”
Sheriff’s deputies then arrested the girl. Deputies detained eight students who are facing possible criminal charges.
The charges could include battery on a law enforcement officer, disruption of school and the firearm could be a felony charge.
Sheriff Ford said they will be conducting interviews with these students to find out everyone’s role in this incident.
“We have a zero-tolerance for this. I have been in contact with Superintendent Husfelt as well as Chief Jones and we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” Ford said. “Everybody will be taking a ride to the DJJ.”
A total of 16 students were arrested in the riot. More information will be shared as it becomes available.