Georgia coach shot trying to break up fight between rival gangs
BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. - The Butts County Sheriff’s Office has charged five juveniles and two adults in the shooting outside of a community gymnasium Sunday that critically wounded a beloved community coach.
Sheriff Gary Long said Coach Chris Head is a hero who forced rival gang members out of the doors of a packed gym and into a parking lot. Long said Head was trying to continue to break up the violence when gunfire erupted and he was struck in the face.
He is currently fighting for his life at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. One other man was also struck, according to Long.
He said the violence stemmed from a previous altercation between some members of the Flovilla Loyalty Gang and members of a gang called 2 Solid the day before.
Long said the gang members saw each other at a community basketball tournament the next day and resumed their dispute. He said the old Jackson High School gymnasium was packed with church groups, business people, and families as well as many children.
Long credits Coach Head with forcing the gang members outside to the parking lot. But before he could gain control of the situation, the groups pulled guns and began firing. In a photo released to FOX 5, Head can be seen grabbing the arms of one of the gunmen.
Investigators are still searching for Deadrianeon Ridley, 18, of Jackson. Deputies said he fired the shot that struck the coach. There is a cash reward for information leading to his arrest. They are also interested in seeing any videos taken of the incident.
Long said his office is committed to breaking up the gangs in a joint investigation with Jackson authorities.
WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage
Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.