Anne Arundel County officials said yesterday that they will reevaluate security measures at school sports events after an apparently accidental shooting that injured a teenage girl during a high school football game Friday night in the Annapolis area.
The shooting of a 17-year-old Odenton girl occurred about 8:30 p.m. during a game between Annapolis and Old Mill high schools. Anne Arundel police said yesterday that they arrested a 17-year-old shortly after the shooting and that a gun was found near where he was caught on the grounds of Annapolis High.
The teenager, who is not a student at Annapolis or Old Mill, accidentally pulled the trigger of the gun, which he had concealed in his clothing, police said. The victim, whom police did not identify, was treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released.
The shooting came weeks after two fatal attacks associated with football games in Montgomery County. Annapolis High School Principal Donald R. Lilley said yesterday that the shooting was the first gun-related incident at the school since he took over as principal in March 2004, with a goal of improving school safety.
Lilley said he didn't believe more stringent security measures -- such as pat-downs of spectators entering sports venues or the use of magnetometers -- would be helpful.
"I think you're asking for more problems when you start doing things like that," he said.
Such measures could be viewed by some as provocative, Lilley said. He added that with the school's football field surrounded by a chain-link fence, someone who is determined to bring in a weapon still could do so.
The year before Lilley became principal, dozens of students came to school one day dressed in orange as a protest against the "jaillike" atmosphere they said the previous principal had created.
Lilley said four uniformed Anne Arundel police officers were paid by the school system to provide security at the game. In addition, Lilley said, he, three assistant principals, the athletic directors from both schools and his school's assistant athletic director also were at the game and were helping keep order.
Some school officials and police officers were within about 10 feet of the shooting when it occurred, Lilley said. The game was stopped with Annapolis ahead, 30-21, in the fourth quarter, a school official said.
A teenager told reporters at the school that after the shot rang out, she saw someone check inside his pocket, then run from the scene. The suspect, from Glen Burnie, was charged as a juvenile with reckless endangerment, possession of a deadly weapon on school property and concealing a deadly weapon. He was released to his parents, police said. A second teenager was questioned and released after it was determined that he had nothing to do with the incident, police said.
Steve Johnson, whose son Lucas, 16, plays in the Annapolis band, said he was concerned about the shooting but not panicked. "I think it's an isolated incident," Johnson said.