Local News

School Brawls Lead To Arrests In Johnston County

Posted December 16, 2004

— Several students are in custody after fights broke out at Smithfield-Selma High School Thursday morning.

Crystal Roberts, Johnston County School's public information officer, said the fight started with two students and "mushroomed" into a much larger one. The officer said a number of students got caught in the middle of the situation.

"It was a whole bunch of students. It was like half of the students in the school," student Delfina Gonzales said.

"I've never seen that many cops in my life, and I was like real scared," student Christina Lloyd said.

Officers said at least three separate brawls broke out inside and outside the school at about 10:30 a.m. Police from Smithfield and Selma, Johnston County deputies and state Highway Patrol troopers responded to the scene that was described by students as chaotic.

Seven students were handcuffed and taken in by officials for questioning. No one is sure what started the fight, but one student told WRAL it had to do with gangs.

"We're just pleased that there were no injuries. We're very lucky," Roberts said.

Thursday was the last day of school before the holiday break. Students were taking exams and were being allowed to leave the school as they finished their tests.

The school will have added security Friday and is still looking into what triggered the fight.

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