Following shooting, Antioch youth football team has new place to play

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After a shooting between adults, a youth football team suffered the consequences – until someone stepped up to help. 

The Antioch Jets played their first game at their new field in La Vergne on Saturday. 

They had been playing at Antioch High School until a man shot a coach in the leg last month. The team says the victim and the shooter weren’t associated with them, but Metro Schools wouldn’t let them play at the high school anymore. 

The organization “Youth Incorporated” offered up its field in La Verge to the Antioch Jets. The founder of the program, Taiwo Anderson, told News 2 that they are grateful for the generosity. 

 “Basically you know dealing with the youth, you gotta – you know you can’t let them hang. You know you don’t want to  keep them hanging or nothing like that, kids want to play ball so today was a great day.”  said Anderson. 

“I always wanted to play football and it was my dream.” said Jacoby Ballard, an Antioch Jets player. 

The suspect in that shooting still hasn’t been caught. Police identified him as Eric Caruthers Jr. If you know where he is, contact crimestoppers at 615-74-CRIME.
  

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Nearly one month since a shooting at a youth football game at Antioch High School, the players now have a new place to play.  

The Antioch Jets have been without a field since Metro determined the team could no longer play at the school following the shooting.  

The Jets were contacted by Youth Incorporated, a non-profit group that provides sports opportunities for kids, who offered them a field in La Vergne for their home games.  

Jets President Taiwo Anderson has worked hard to keep his team together following the shooting.  

“I’ve just been talking to the parents to get them to understand that – to better the youth – to see what we can do about this situation,” said Anderson. 

“It was a bad experience, what happened, and it didn’t have anything to do with the Antioch Jets,” added Anderson.  

Anderson is grateful to Youth Inc. and the parents for their help in allowing the season to continue.  

Youth Inc. said it didn’t want the kids penalized for something adults were responsible for.  

The Jets will play four home games at their new field.  

MORE: Coach credited for saving man after shooting at youth football game

Authorities are still searching for 30-year-old Eric Caruthers, who investigators believe shot the victim twice in the leg at the school on Aug. 11. 

Authorities said that two juveniles were arguing at the football game when the victim attempted to break up the altercation. 

Video of the shooting shows Caruthers and the coach walking beside the bleachers with parents and young players not aware what’s about to happen. That’s when the two men bump shoulders and Caruthers opens fire, striking the victim then he taking off. 

Police have issued an aggravated assault warrant for Caruthers. 

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call our partners at Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. 

News 2 is tracking crime in the area where you live. Click here for more coverage.

Eric Caruthers wanted for shooting football coach

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