Sergeant Westbrook, a Florida A&M police officer, confirmed that tear gas was released into a crowd to end a fight during the annual Cram Jam event late Sunday night.
“We got out here and it sounded like a shot had been fired, so we fired tear gas. I walked up to a car that looked like it might have been involved in the fight that took place, but we didn’t get a good [identification],” Sergeant Westbrook said.
Officers confirmed that actual gunshots were not fired. They said they also responded to an incident that took place at the same event earlier that night.
The incident began with a food fight between students in the FAMU upstairs cafeteria. Many students said they were shocked by the chaos.
“I stood up and I saw people throwing food like crazy. People were fighting. It was a mess,” said Emory Rivers, 20. “Everyone started running towards the front and their weren’t any security guards around to stop it,” said the second-year broadcast journalism student from Miami.
Chaos turned to mayhem when a fight broke out on Gamble Street.
Danielle Paggett, 19, a second year business administration student from Atlanta, witnessed the confusion firsthand.
“They heard a ‘pow-pow’ noise-that’s why they were rushing, that’s why they got scared. People thought it was gunshots, ” Paggett said.
Some students said they were not fully aware of all that was taking place around them.
“At the beginning, it was like a group of six guys. They crossed the street like they were ready to do something and we started moving,” said Robert Little, II, 24. “By the end there was one guy on the ground and he started moving away police sprayed then we heard a gunshot and everybody started moving away,” said the fourth-year business administration student from Atlanta.
Official reports from the FAMU Police Department were not immediately available. The Famuan will keep you updated as details surrounding this case continue to develop.