Montgomery's Carol Villa neighborhood rocked by shootout

Montgomery's Carol Villa neighborhood rocked by shootout
A bullet went through the window of one home and went into a couch. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
A bullet went through the window of one home and went into a couch. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Montgomery police are investigating, but have not determined any suspects so far. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Montgomery police are investigating, but have not determined any suspects so far. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Neighbors in Montgomery's Carol Villa neighborhood are calling for action after a shootout early Sunday morning. Residents say they were startled by rapid gunfire around midnight.

Residents say renters living in a house on Carol Villa Drive near Handel Court were having a party, so many cars lined the main thoroughfare through the neighborhood, making the street difficult to drive down.

"I was terrified," homeowner Renee Lozeno explained. "It was very scary not knowing where they were shooting or aiming. We just ducked and hoped for the best. We survived."

After sunrise, Lozeno and many of her neighbors found more than 20 shell casings scattered across their yards. The most frightening discovery, a bullet, went through their neighbor's window, through their living room wall, and was found on the couch.

"Luckily he works at night," Lozeno explained. "He could have been hit with a stray bullet."

Carol Villa's neighborhood association president, Carole LeMaster, says she's received probably upwards of 50 messages since word got out about the shooting, adding that neighbors are not handling the news well.

"The people that live in that area are terrified," LeMaster explained. "One neighbor said in a message that her little boy's window was near where the shots were fired."

Investigators with the Montgomery Police Department were knocking on doors Monday morning regarding the case. MPD confirmed officers responded to Carol Villa Drive Sunday around 1:30 a.m. when the shots were reported and came back later Sunday to file a report about a bullet entering an unoccupied residence.

Public Safety Director Chris Murphy asks that any neighbors who observe a house party that is growing out of hand to call police immediately to diffuse the situation.

"When you see this develop, call police at first concern", Murphy explained.  "Whether the music is too loud or whether the cars are parked on the sidewalk, call us, we want to be out there and make contact with the responsible parties at the location to tone it down or get control of it. Now it puts it on the radar of that patrol officer on that beat, or that section anyway."

No arrest has been made. For neighbors like Lozeno, that's an issue.

While the shots were fired, no injuries have been reported. Due to the large number of people at the reported party, tracking down who had a gun could prove to be a challenge.

"Nobody seems to know what happened," Lozeno said. "Nothing was done that night. We were surprised to see that no one was taken into custody, especially with all the gunshots."

LeMaster explained she and many of her neighbors have lived in Carol Villa for decades, not to mention young families.

When LeMaster was asked if this was ordinarily a quiet neighborhood, "Very much so, and we want very much for it to stay that way."

LeMaster says others are already concerned if this incident is followed by more criminal activity, the value of their homes will drop.

"One resident stated we won't be able to give our houses away if something like this happens again in this neighborhood," LeMaster said.

The neighborhood installed high-tech cameras at the entrance of Carol Villa, she went on. She hopes the new asset will help officers find who is responsible.

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