Football coach remembers Bama Lanes shooting victim

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:06 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:58 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The coaching staff and teammates who knew 21-year-old Jeffery Reed are still coming to terms with his sudden and unexpected passing.

“It’s the worst phone call that a coach could ever get about one of his kids,” said William Shirah, head coach of the Chilton Prep Academy Pirates.

Reed was a defensive end for the Chilton Prep Academy Pirates, a football program for junior college students in Clanton.

“It’s devastating for our program, it’s devastating for the family,” Shirah said. “He was a big part of us and always will be.”

This morning we received the worst phone call a coaching staff can get. Rest well Jeffrey Reed❤️ We ask for your prayers for Jeffery’s family and our program in the coming weeks.

Posted by The Chilton Prep Academy Pirates on Sunday, January 9, 2022

Reed died in a shooting at Bama Lanes bowling alley in Montgomery early Sunday. Six others were also shot but survived.

“He deserves justice is what he deserves,” Shirah said.

Shirah said Reed was a good kid who didn’t get into trouble. He said Reed did not deserve what happened to him.

“He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time at the bowling alley,” Shirah said. “Like normal teenagers, college kids, just having a good time, and a fight broke out that he wasn’t involved in and shots were fired and him and a couple other innocent people were involved in that.”

Looked up to by his younger teammates, Shirah said Reed will be remembered for his smile, laughter and upbeat personality. He said he was a hardworking student too, and knew when to get down to business on and off the field.

“He was a great, great young man. I never had a problem out of him,” Shirah said.

Offseason workouts began for the Pirates on Tuesday. Shirah said practice was not the same without Reed and won’t be the same for a long time. He said they do have plans in place to remember him on the field next football season.

“We’re more than likely going to retire number 19, so nobody’s going to be able to wear that jersey again,” Shirah said. “And obviously Jeffery will be our honorary captain next year, which is what, honestly that goes beyond him passing. He would have been that guy, regardless. That’s just how big of a piece he was and just how big of a person he was. He was just a leader on the team.”

23-year-old Tory Johnson has been charged with murder and six counts of assault in the shooting. Johnson’s bail was set at $270,000. Johnson was able to post bail and be released from the Montgomery County Detention Facility the same day the shooting took place.

District Attorney Daryl Bailey has since filed a court motion to increase Johnson’s bail to $2 million. A bail increase hearing has been set for Friday.

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