Young people were gathered late into the night at a McDonald’s restaurant near the Auburn University campus in Alabama, likely in celebration over the school’s massive 63-9 home-opener football win over Alabama State University on Saturday — that is, until gunfire changed everything.
An altercation reportedly ended in gunfire early on Sunday, leaving one young person dead and four others wounded.
According to Fox News, the incident occurred shortly before 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.
One dead, four wounded
Police responded to the incident quickly and soon determined that the shooting had not been a random event, but rather, was the tragic end of an altercation between some of the people gathered in the restaurant.
Citing a release from the Auburn Police Division, Auburn News reported that responding officers discovered a deceased individual at the scene — later identified as 20-year-old Evan Mikale Wilson of Tuskegee, Alabama, who died from multiple gunshot wounds — as well as four wounded individuals.
Those wounded people included a 16-year-old male from Opelika, Alabama; a 17-year-old male; a 19-year-old female from Opelika; and a 21-year-old male student of Auburn from Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The 16-year-old was flown to Piedmont Columbus Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, while the other three individuals were transported by ambulance to the East Alabama Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
The shooter appears to have initially fled the scene of the shooting prior to the arrival of police, but it didn’t take long for them to track him down and take him into custody.
Auburn police, working in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, located and arrested the suspected shooter later on Sunday, and are now charging the 17-year-old male from Opelika with murder and assault. He was found hiding in a residence in Auburn.
An investigation remains ongoing and additional charges could still be filed against the unnamed suspect, who is being held in Lee County jail on a $150,000 bond.
It remains unclear at this point what caused the altercation that resulted in gunfire.
Sadly, there are some people in this country that are too quick to resort to violence as an acceptable means to settle differences. Hopefully, this shooter is held fully accountable for his criminal acts so that the message will be sent that gunfire is not an acceptable means to end disputes.