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KILGORE, TX (KLTV) -
The following is a press release from Kilgore College. Earlier in the day it was posted without indicating that it was a press release. We regret the error:
At the conclusion of the basketball game between Kilgore College and Navarro College Feb. 23 in Kilgore, KC fans and players gathered at center court to celebrate the 88-78 victory over Navarro. KC players then headed to their locker room.
Several individuals from Navarro were upset from the celebrating that was taking place and began verbalizing their disapproval which began to inflame the crowd. At this point, both teams had gone to their respective locker rooms.
KC students were at mid-court, but never at any point crossed the floor to the Navarro side of the gym.
KCPD, administrators and staff were present and were attempting to disperse the crowd gathered in the gym when players from Navarro came out of their locker room and tried enter onto the gym floor.
Some of these Navarro players were being restrained by other players or fans.
KCPD officers responded to the area where the Navarro players were trying to come out onto the floor and ordered them back into their locker room.
Navarro players re-entered their locker room area, but Navarro fans kept verbalizing disapproval of the way the game turned out. At this point, a student manager for Navarro who was sitting on the second level behind the Navarro bench began repeatedly blowing a whistle.
Navarro players once again attempted to enter the court. KC policemen instructed the Navarro players to get back in their locker room. The players ignored this request by KCPD and made threats toward the KC officers who were giving instructions.
KCPD officers tried to back the Navarro players down the hallway leading toward their locker room, but the Navarro players were still being uncooperative and were still making threats toward KCPD officers. At this point, two KCPD officers deployed pepper spray in an attempt to gain control of the situation.
Kilgore College athletic training personnel were present and provided care and assistance to the Navarro players affected by the pepper spray.
After this, order was maintained and everyone eventually left the gym.
Witnesses have reported that there were individuals from Navarro that were engaged in conduct that made it appear that they were purposefully trying to incite the crowd.
This incident is still under investigation. At this time no criminal charges have been filed against any players or fans at the game, but the possibility has not been ruled out.
The control measures used by KCPD officers will be investigated and a determination will be made as to whether these actions were done in accordance to departmental policy and/or state law.
As part of the investigation, KCPD is currently taking statements from fans who witnessed what happened at the game.
No KC players, coaches or fans were involved in the incident.