BALTIMORE COUNTY (WJZ) — A school cafeteria fight ended with seven students arrested and three taken to the hospital. Now police are trying to find out what set off the violence at Overlea High.

Christie Ileto spoke to local leaders who are worried about the tension spilling onto school grounds.

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A six second video captured the melee inside Overlea High.

“It was like a regular lunch day until it just popped off like that,” said Marquise Washington.

Washington stood feet away, watching Washington police break up multiple cafeteria fights. Seven students between the ages of 16 and 19 were arrested.

“We don’t know whether or not it’s gang-related. We haven’t heard anything of that nature,” said Mark Bedell.

But school staff and police are investigating every angle.

While it’s unclear what prompted Tuesday’s fight, police say it appears to be the result of an ongoing dispute.

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“There was an incident that occurred about a week ago off campus; we’re trying to determine if there’s any connection with that situation,” Bedell said.

“You have beefs between different neighborhoods in the Overlea area,” said John Cluster.

Cluster says block rivalries in parts of his district aren’t uncommon but says this incident could have been far worse.

“We don’t know how big this would have gotten if we didn’t have a police officer on scene,” he said.

Baltimore County is pouring millions of dollars into boosting school security with new surveillance cameras and ID card systems in the wake of the school shootings plaguing the country.

But is it enough to curb cafeteria chaos like this from jeopardizing student safety?

Three students were taken to the hospital after an officer used pepper spray while trying to break up the fight.

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