What may have started out as a small confrontation, ended in what police are calling a riot. It started at the KKI Step Show around 9 o'clock last night.
Police responded after a call came in that multiple fights were breaking out inside the gym at Texas College. Officers say when they got there, three to four hundred people were flooding the courtyard and being very combative. Despite repeated requests, they say they would not break it up.
Don Martin, Public Information Officer for Tyler Police Department said, "Pepper ball and mace were used to disperse the crowd. It was also reported that weapons were inside the gym at the time of the initial fight. We have no indication that there were weapons. We haven't found anything at this time."
Several people inside the gym told us a very different story. They say everyone seemed to be having a good time at the competition until police stormed into the crowded courtyard.
Folarin Olawoie was in that crowded courtyard. He said, "Little innocent kids were waiting outside for their parents. Police started shooting little innocent kids with paintball guns for no reason. Just because a lot of people were out here."))
Witnesses say in addition to the pepper guns, police also put one person in a choke-hold. Billy Hawkins, President of Texas College, said he spoke with trusted students inside at the time. They told him, police overreacted to the situation. We know at least three to four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.