Coach credited for saving man after shooting at youth football game


A gunman remains on the run five days after opening fire at a youth football game.  

The victim though is recovering and is alive thanks in part to fast-acting parents, and a well-trained army combat medic.  

With just a couple days until game-day, Clarksville’s “Screaming Eagles” packed tight together Thursday for practice. For parents and coaches though, the events of the previous week were still fresh.  

The chaotic scene played out Saturday night at Antioch High School. Metro police said it started after a little league coach broke up an altercation between two players.  

According to police, one of the player’s fathers became upset and invited the coach to meet him underneath the bleachers.  

The coach was shot soon after, twice in the upper leg.  

Coach John Offineer was in the right place, at the right time.  

“He just had blood running down his leg, my first concern was to stop the bleeding,” explained Offineer, an 11-year veteran, and Combat Medic with the Army. “I pulled my belt off, which is a tourniquet belt that I’d bought, I put it on his leg and ratcheted down.” 

Metro police have identified the suspect as 30-year-old Eric Caruthers Jr.

Coach Offineer said the incident has forced his teams to tweak their procedures moving forward.  

“I think we’re going to do something here, because an active shooter in a building, is different than an active shooter in the open, so we’re going to implement that in our practices,” he said. “I look forward to moving forward and teaching these young student-athletes’ fundamental football, along with life lessons.” 

Offineer also hopes to have two student resource officers stationed at games played in Clarksville.  

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