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Fight At College Fair Forces Evacuation

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The empty scene outside the Greater Washington National College Fair this morning shortly after it was evacuated. Organizers were forced to evacuate the event after a fight broke out. 
Kavitha Cardoza
The empty scene outside the Greater Washington National College Fair this morning shortly after it was evacuated. Organizers were forced to evacuate the event after a fight broke out. 

Thousands of students were evacuated after a fight broke out at a college fair in the D.C. convention center this morning. 

Students were promised the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from approximately 300 universities throughout the U.S. at the Greater Washington National College Fair. But approximately two hours after the event began, a fight broke out among some of the students. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says organizers decided to shut down the event and 12,000 teenagers were asked to evacuate. 

She says the fight involved a small group of students. "It's always that 2 to 5 percent that take 80 percent of our time," Lanier said after the incident. No one was arrested after the fight. 

The event, which was supposed to last until 1 p.m., was evacuated before 11:30 a.m. The college fair's organizers are still expecting to hold a second session of the event tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. 

Sherryl Wilson, 16, is in 11th grade at National Collegiate Prep Public Charter School in southeast D.C. She and her classmates stand on the sidewalk outside the Convention Center, waiting for their bus to take them back to school. They didn't even get to go into the fair.    

"I'm upset. I was preparing myself, had questions in mind everything. Now I can't," Wilson says. She doens't know how her questions about different programs and financial aid will be answered, she adds.

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