Gulfport police chief blames social media for 'sickening' fight - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport police chief blames social media for 'sickening' fight video

Papania says social media fuels the teenage fights. (Photo source: WLOX) Papania says social media fuels the teenage fights. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

After video of a fight at Goldin Sportsplex on Tuesday, police are determined to find out who's responsible. 

A disagreement at Harrison Central High School led to the fight captured on video, which has been seen more than 30,000 times on Facebook.

"It's a very alarming video and it's certainly an indictment of the characters depicted in that," said Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania.  

For Papania, more disturbing than the fight itself was seeing so many people recording the brawl on their cell phone.  

"Nobody was breaking that fight up. They were agitating it, and they were fighting for spots to get best video. That's pretty sick," said Papania. 

Police across the country are dealing with the threat of fight videos posted to social media that, according to Papania, can cause situations to escalate quickly.

"Most of us were sickened by what we saw," said Papania. "But, for some reason, people are entertained by it and that's why you [the news] got it [the video] before I did."

Police did respond to the fight, which broke up quickly when officers arrived on the scene. A gun shot can be heard on the video and Papania says a gun was in fact recovered. Now, officials are collecting information about the weapon for their investigation. 

"I can assure you if we can make a case there, we'll make it and we'll move forward," noted the chief. 

As neighbors and parents react, police are working toward a solution to prevent another fight from happening.

"Quite a few people have come forward identifying these individuals and as we can confirm those identifications, then we're going to move forward on charges," added Papania. 

In the last six months Papania says police have responded to two fights at the Goldin Sportsplex, and four calls concerning guns.

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