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Press Release

HCSO Responds to Multiple Fights at Howard High School’s Graduation


Hamilton County, TN - On Friday night, May 20, 2022, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies were hired by the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to provide security for the Howard High School graduation at Finely Stadium.

At approximately 8:15 pm, a large fight broke out in the stands between rival gang members. Approximately 20-30 people were involved in this initial fight. During this large fight in the stands, deputies observed at least two people being thrown over the railing. This fight continued out of the stands and into a tunnel leading to the concourse. As deputies were breaking up this fight, three additional large fights broke out around the concourse area.

Deputy's initially detained approximately ten suspects (mostly juvenile) involved in the fights for disorderly conduct. Due to the additional fights occurring and a report of a subject running with a firearm, deputies quickly removed the detained individuals from the stadium and released them outside the venue in order to have enough manpower to respond to the additional fights and search for the alleged subject with a firearm. During these events, Hamilton County 911 received calls from individuals inside the stadium advising subjects were saying they were going to "shoot the stadium up."

The two individuals that deputies observed being thrown over the railing were not identified and never reported the incident while deputies were on scene. The subject reported to have been observed running with a firearm was not located. One adult female was injured during the fights and EMS responded to treat her injuries.

One adult male was arrested and transported to jail for disorderly conduct after he attempted to re-enter the stadium and tried to incite another fight at the gate.

In addition to the deputies hired to provide security, a large number of law enforcement personnel from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Chattanooga Police Department, and Red Bank Police Department responded to Finley Stadium to provide assistance during these events.

Thankfully, the graduation was able to conclude without any other major incidents and deputies remained on scene until all of the people safely left the venue.

No further details are available at this time.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000