Police still trying to identify people involved in deadly bonfire fight | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla---The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is still trying to identify several people involved in the bonfire fight that claimed the life of a 19-year-old high school student from St. Augustine.
Ryan Scott Ford was a senior at Pedro Menendez High School and one of his friends tells First Coast News he was a good kid, and hung out in the woods almost every weekend with his friends, but on Friday, a casual bonfire turned deadly.
At around 1 a.m. Saturday Jacksonville Police Officers responded to the 14500 block of Old St. Augustine Road. About 50 people were in the woods at a bonfire when a large fight started, and then several smaller fights.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says Ford was not involved, but was caught in the middle and punched several times until he fell unconscious. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but later died from the injuries.
Police are still investigating and say they are trying to locate several people that left the bonfire before officers arrived. They say alcohol was definitely a factor.
There has been an outpouring of sadness on social media, friends tweeting, 'Rest In Peace Ryan Ford'
One tweet says "It's crazy what this world is coming to and it's crazy he had to go at such a young age."
Ford's family did not want to go on camera, but say they are thankful for all of the prayers they have received during this difficult time.
A spokesperson for the St. Johns County School System says a crisis team is on alert and grief counselors will be at the school on Monday.
First Coast News has received reports that arrests have been made, but the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has not confirmed that information.