The Syrian conflict is the last place one might expect to see something from a high school in New Hope, Minn., but a video popping up online shows a sniper wearing a sweatshirt straight out of Robbinsdale Cooper High School.
It's hard to imagine how a high school in Minnesota could be connected to the front lines of the civil war in Syria, but a video posted on the website LiveLeaks.com shows a sniper shooting through a small opening. Just moments after he steps away, an incoming round blows a hole in the wall.
That close call got the website's attention, but another keen eye spotted what he was wearing -- a sweatshirt bearing the emblem of the Cooper Hawks.
"Nobody needs this kind of publicity," said Tia Clasen, of Robbinsdale Area Schools. "Cooper is an outstanding school."
After news of the video surfaced, an e-mail assured parents that the person wearing the Hawks apparel was not connected with the school in any way, saying it was mere coincidence.
"A school does not need to have its name associated with the words 'Syrian sniper,'" Clasen said. "It just shouldn't have it's name associated with it."
Somehow, the sweatshirt -- likely a donation to charity -- made the 6,000 mile journey to the war-torn Middle East. The Hawks lettering doesn't match any of the school's current offerings, but those who have been with the school for years say it certainly looks familiar.
An online search turned up two other Cooper High Schools -- one in Kentucky and another in Texas, but their mascots are not the Hawks. Still, there's no clear answer as to how the shirt made it overseas.
"No idea in the world," Clasen said. "There's not one person in this district who knows how that sweatshirt -- if it's a Cooper Hawks High School sweatshirt -- ended up in Syria."