Outraged DA lays down law after shots fired near MPS football game; $5K reward

Outraged DA lays down law after shots fired near MPS football game
A WSFA news crew captured video of an ambulance at the scene. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
A WSFA news crew captured video of an ambulance at the scene. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - After gunfire ended a high school football game in Montgomery Thursday night, District Attorney Daryl Bailey wants answers.

"I'm outraged", Bailey said. "I'm tired of all the shootings in our city. Our city is under siege by criminals with guns."

Montgomery Public Schools leased Alabama State's Hornet Stadium to host the opening season games on Thursday and Friday night. For this reason, ASU's police department is leading the investigation into the shooting.

But they're not going it alone. Bailey says his office, along with the Montgomery Police Department, has offered their resources to ASUPD to quickly get justice for the city.

"These are people who are out enjoying the football game, people deserve to be able to go events like that and not worry about this foolishness," bailey stressed. "I'm ticked off about it."

Despite the community's desire to wrap their arms around this incident, the details are still frustratingly thin.

"As district attorney, I am trying to get everyone to work together on this, but unfortunately I have not heard from anybody yet," Bailey added.

Hopefully, that will change with a large reward that's being offered. Montgomery City Councilman Glen Pruitt is putting up a $5,000 reward through the the DA's office to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

Tips can be made to Bailey's office at 334-832-2550.
  
No one was injured by the gunfire, but many are feeling vulnerable after this traumatic event. Bailey vows to prosecute those who fired the shots to the fullest extent of the law. "I guarantee you and your viewers we are going to hold them responsible", Bailey affirmed.

The incident happened in the fourth quarter of the Carver-Jefferson Davis game. Carver was up 19-3 when the decision was made to call the game.

Montgomery Department of Communications Spokesperson Martha Earnhardt said Montgomery police responded to the stadium after a report of shots fired. Officers were already providing security inside the stadium when the sound of gunfire was heard.

The Montgomery Advertiser shared a video that shows the moment when the shots were heard.

Video shows players and spectators fleeing the field after hearing several pops. Witnesses tweeted about hearing the shots:

(WARNING: Language may not be suitable for some) 

Following the gunfire, additional MPD officers provided assistance, helping with crowd control and traffic direction.

ASU officials released the following statement on the incident:

"Alabama State University's Police Department and the Montgomery Police Department both responded on Thursday evening to the Montgomery Public School (MPS) System's Carver-Jeff Davis high school football game after a report of the "sound" of shots fired on the ring-road on the outside/back of the football stadium during the fourth quarter of the high school game.

Montgomery Public Schools said it's working with MPD and ASU to keep the environment around its games safe.

"[Friday night's] Lee/Park Crossing game will have an enhanced presence of ASU, MPD and MPS officers and security personnel," MPS officials said. "Access to the stadium area will be restricted to game traffic only."

Students, including Jaylen Ware, were concerned about the shooting.

"I'm very saddened by the whole thing. It's just, I feel like we can't go nowhere to any safe events. I'm just really saddened by it," Ware said. "I think police and MPS really gonna have this place secured so there's really not too much to worry about."

"We still have a lot of work to do with our youth in the community to help them to make better choices and to provide better avenues for more positive things to do," said parent Andre Hodges, whose children go to Park Crossing.

Alabama High School Athletic Association Assistant Director of Communications Ron Ingram said the AHSAA requires each host school to have adequate security for the contests it hosts but said the organization did not have any comment on Thursday's incident, instead referring any questions to MPS officials.

Carver's color guard coach, LaToya Mullins, said she heard the gunshots.

"We were out here enjoying the game, and we heard gunshots in the fourth quarter, so everybody got down and we just evacuated the place immediately," Mullins said. She added that her main focus during the ordeal was getting her students to safety and to their parents.

"It is very unfortunate, I am not a parent but these girls are in my care so I act as the parent," Mullins said. "But it's just sad, and I really wish they didn't have to go through that, especially at a football game. It's ridiculous."

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call ASU at 334-229-4400, Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP, or Secret Witness at 334-625-4000.

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