Updated: Aug. 31, 4 p.m.
Police in Mobile have apprehended a suspect in the Friday night shooting at Ladd-Peebles Stadium that sent nine teenagers to the hospital after a local high school football game. This morning, 17-year-old Deangelo Parnell was booked into Mobile Metro Jail on nine counts of attempted murder.
Investigators have not divulged whether Parnell was a student at either of the schools playing in the game — Williamson High School or LeFlore High School. Superintendent Chresal Threadgrill said the Mobile County Public School System would be investigating with assistance from MPD.
Police initially said they believed 10 people had been struck during the barrage of gunfire but have since clarified only nine were injured and taken to the hospital. All were between the ages of 15 to 18. Since then, six victims have been released while three others are still being treated for their wounds.
The exact status of those still in the hospital is unclear at this time.
After Parnell’s arrest, Battise said MPD met with Threadgill, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson and City Councilman Levon Manzie to discuss security enhancements at future public events. The group briefed the media afterward and offered condolences to those affected by the “senseless” act.
“I do want to thank the Mobile Police Department for reacting so quickly, but I want the parents and the community to understand that this is much bigger than just the police or the school system,” Threadgill said. “This is a community issue, and if we don’t get together and fight this type of situation, it’s going to continue to happen.”
Stimpson said “you have to question what goes through a young person’s mind to think it’s OK to pull a gun out and start shooting into a crowd.”
However, he said that’s a deeper issue city officials can’t answer on their own. Instead, he focused on what can be done — namely pushing for better cooperation between MCPSS and MPD to increase security in the future.
Because the Williamson/LeFlore game is a heated rivalry, Stimpson said there were already additional police on scene Friday night. However, he said the city plans to start using “college type protocols” when screening people entering the stadiums within the city limits.
He outlined some of those “protocols” including bans on outside bottles, cups, non-see through bags, etc. Stimpson also said “everything” was being considered, up to and including the addition of metal detectors at the entrances to high school games at the city-owned stadium.
“You will see enhanced security when you enter the stadiums this coming Friday. There will have to be some messaging to the parents and students about what they can bring into the stadiums going forward,” Stimpson said. “There were already security protocols in effect [at Ladd-Peebles] last night, we’re just saying there’s going to be enhanced protocols.”
Manzie, whose district includes the stadium, said the city council was already set to consider certain “general” upgrades to the stadium at its upcoming meeting Sept. 2. However, in light of the shooting, Manzie said he wants to make sure some of those resources are going toward security as well.
Lagniappe will have updates on this story and the city’s response as they continue to develop.
Original story: Mobile Police say at least 10 people were injured during a shooting at Ladd-Peebles Stadium following the football game between two local high schools Friday evening.
According to Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste, officers responded to reports of shots fired around 10 p.m. after the game between Williamson High School and LeFlore High School. At this time, MPD believes at least 10 people were shot that ranged between the ages of 15 to 18.
No information about the status of the victims or the nature of their injuries has been released, though all 10 have been transported to local hospitals for treatment. The only detail Battiste offered was that most of the victims seemed to have been sitting on the “LeFlore side of the stadium.”
Battiste said two individuals had been detained at the scene for questioning. However, at this time, police aren’t sure who the actual shooter was or whether there may have been more than one person firing shots. In the meantime, Battiste told residents in the Leinkauf and Maysville areas to remain alert.
“I don’t think we are worried about anybody running the streets but I would always encourage people to be cautious especially in the immediate neighborhood,” he said. “If the individual that perpetrated this particular incident is walking around the neighborhood he or she may still be armed.”
Battiste did say he believes MPD will make an arrest in the case given the number of people that were at the game and the security surveillance that exists at Ladd-Peebles. As he has all to often in recent years, Battiste expressed his concern about the number of violent events involving young people in Mobile.
“Young people are bringing beef that they have with each other in their neighborhoods to public places and they’re putting other people in harm’s way, and we’re going to have to be more aggressive on our end as a city as to how we hold these individuals accountable when they go before the courts,” Battiste said. “It is unacceptable for people to not be able to come out and enjoy an event watching their children play in a football game or perform in the band. We will not tolerate this in our city.”
Battiste said police would release more details about the victims and any potential suspects as that information was received and indicated that police would be on the scene at the stadium for a long time.
He briefly discussed security measures at high school games hosted at Ladd-Peebles, which he said included the use of a handheld metal detector and a requirement for clear bags. He did say that some extra steps are taken at college games, adding that MPD may review security for all events going forward.
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