MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — An 11th-hour safety precaution changed Middletown football fans’ Friday night plans at the last minute.
Instead of watching the Middies face Colerain High School on their home turf of Barnitz Stadium, spectators drove 45 minutes to watch them play in Colerain instead.
Few minded the trip, but not all of them knew the reason for the change: A shooting that injured two teenagers at nearby Louis Place.
“I think we're doing what's right in keeping the safety first,” said Middletown police Chief David Birk, who urged the change of location after the Thursday afternoon shooting.
The two teens injured at Louis Place were brothers, ages 15 and 17, according to police. The pair are being treated at a Dayton hospital, and two suspects were arrested shortly after the shooting.
Three of the four — police have not clarified which ones — were Middletown High School students.
"This is overkill,” said Mandee Heard, a Middletown High School mother. “I feel like, don't put a mark on us. Don't make it look like Middletown is a bad place. It's not. There's still good kids here. There's still good people here. It's a great community."
Middletown lost 28-13 to Colerain on Friday night.
The Middies have another home game scheduled for Oct. 1. School officials have not disclosed whether they plan to move it.