1 Dead, 8 Shot After Gunfire Erupts at Alabama High School Graduation Party
The shooting occurred at a city community center in Atmore, Alabama
A shooting at a high school graduation party in Atmore, Alabama, early Saturday morning has resulted in one person dead and eight injured, according to the Associated Press.
Atmore police responded to a call around 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning with authorities arriving at the former Escambia County Middle School, which now serves as the city’s community center, where they found a man who had been shot to death in the cafeteria.
The community center had been the site of a high school graduation party that involved alcohol and hundreds of people. Word spread about the party through social media, Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks told the AP.
WKRG reported that the incident began when two women started fighting and others got involved. According to AL.com, “numerous gunshots” were fired inside the building, and the shooting continued outside in the building’s parking lot.
Eight additional people were shot, and were taken to local hospitals for treatment, according to WKRG. As of Saturday afternoon, seven of the eight had been released from the hospital. (The names of the injured or deceased have not yet been released.)
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WKRG reports that no arrests have been made, but police are now searching for at least three suspects connected to the shooting, and are working to get statements from those who were released from the hospital.
The Atmore Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment by PEOPLE.
Principal Dennis Fuqua of Escambia County High School responded to the incident in a statement on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s always a great day to be a Blue Devil, but yesterday was a day of triumph and tragedy,” he wrote. “By day, our seniors experienced the high of obtaining 8.6 million dollars in scholarships, and our varsity football team experienced their first win of the season. Yet, by night we all felt the pangs of tragedy due to the acts of violence that have left several of our past and present students injured.”
The statement continued: “It is unfortunate that the event at the community center has tainted the success our seniors and football team felt, but we love our Blue Devil Family and will continue to pray for wisdom and healing.”