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Jeff Lynch, the Utica City School District security staff member–who was shot in the head after a varsity football game at Proctor High School– feels “blessed” to be alive after the scary incident. On Sept. 11, Lynch was released from St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, New York, where he was taken following his near-fatal shooting Sept. 9. 

“I’m definitely blessed. The sunshine feels a little brighter today. I just want to thank everybody that reached out to me and my family,” Lynch told News Channel 2 on Monday. “I know today’s September 11th. It’s a monumental day. Going forward, I want to be a champion of this cause with the city, with the youth, and get our kids straight.”

On Saturday, the school security guard was shot in the back of the head after a fight broke out following Proctor High School’s home game against Binghamton High School, according to the City of Utica, New York Police Department’s Facebook Page.

What happened?

During a press conference Saturday, Utica Police Chief Mark Williams said the shooting erupted late in the fourth quarter after security stopped a group of suspicious men from trying to enter the stadium.

 “They suspected something wasn’t right” with the group, Williams explained.


When the game ended, a large fight erupted in the parking lot of Proctor High School. Video footage of the heated brawl shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, captured over a dozen men squaring up outside of the football stadium. At one point in the clip, a man in a white t-shirt hurled a punch at another member of the rowdy mob–missing him by a few inches. 

Lynch and one other Utica City School District guard rushed in to break up the fight, but as they tried to quell the violence–two shots were fired. The scary footage showed Lynch falling to the ground after the first shot rang out. 

When the bullet struck him, Lynch thought that he had been hit in the head with or pipe or a heavy object, according to News Channel 2. His vision gave out instantly, but thankfully, the bullet did not rupture his skull. 

Before leaving the hospital, Lynch received multiple stitches in his head. He also chipped his tooth from falling to the ground.

“I’m 51 years old, and I’ve heard for my whole life I’ve got a hard head, and finally, I have something that actually proves that,” the blessed security guard said with a smile. He also thanked his stellar medical team at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Everybody took wonderful care of me. Just a big thank you.”

A 16-year-old suspect was taken into custody for the shooting.

A 16-year-old suspect was arrested Sept. 10 in connection to the shooting, but Utica police said that the investigation was “still ongoing.”


According to officials, the 16-year-old male wasn’t a student at Proctor High School. Police claimed that he was “enrolled in an alternative educational program.” His name has not been released due to his age, but officials said they were working diligently with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office to have the young suspect tried as an adult.

Officials were able to identify and locate the suspect due to video footage of the incident.

News Channel 2 noted that the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office made a formal request to have the teen tried in criminal court on Monday. The suspect is facing several charges, including attempted murder in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and criminal possession of a firearm. 

Police are exploring additional charges for other members involved in Saturday’s brawl. 


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