Coach calls for increased security after little league football game shooting
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —
It’s hard to imagine watching a little league football game and then hear bullets flying. That’s what happened at a youth football game at Antioch High School on Saturday.
Mid-State Youth Football League rented the field to host its jamboree game Saturday. Investigators say a parent pulled out a pistol and shot a coach after he broke up a fight between players.
“Everyone was running and going around. That’s not something that you easily forget,’ said Shaston Robinson.
Robinson helps run the Clarksville Screaming Eagles Football Team, one of the 16 teams in the mid-state youth league. His players stood just a few feet away from the shooting.
Police say Eric Caruthers, Jr., a parent of a football player shot a football coach twice in the leg in front of a crowd of kids. The incident was caught on school surveillance cameras.
Caruthers, who remains on the run Tuesday night, is on parole for an aggravated assault case from 2014.
“When we heard the gunshot we immediately made all our kids drop down,” said Robinson.
Parents tell FOX 17 News that Caruthers got mad and accused the coach of getting too rough with this son. Caruthers allegedly invited the coach to come around the bleachers to speak to him. Once around the bleachers, Caruthers is accused of shooting the coach.
Robinson and a coach from the Clarksville Screaming Eagles said they ran to put a bandage on the coach while they waited for the ambulance.
“The emotions were high, but once you see someone hurt, the only thing we can do as humans is make sure they get better,” added Robinson.
His team held a special called parents meeting Monday night to address concerns, particularly with lack of security at the game.
FOX 17 News reached out to Metro Schools about the issue. They said they are not aware of the league providing security at the game. Robinson said the lack of security could keep parents from letting their kids play again.
“There’s definitely an 'if' - The if is security," Robinson said. "We need to see security. We need to know these games are secured appropriately."
He said after Saturday's incident, he's going to push the league to provide security and keep pushing his players to fight on.
“We're not going to be ruled by fear. We're going to attack the season as before,” said Robinson.