A shooting in Birmingham on Easter Sunday left a 32-year-old woman dead and at least five others injured by gunfire, including four juveniles.
The shooting happened at W.C. Patton Park at 7 p.m., according to authorities. Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service transported three of the victims and two others arrived at hospitals by private vehicles. Initially fire officials said two of the injured were in serious condition and one critical. Birmingham police Sgt. Rod Mauldin later said all of the surviving victims are stable for now.
In addition to the 32-year-old slain woman, the other wounded victims are ages 21, 17, 16, 15 and 4.
The woman killed was reportedly shot in the head. The 16-year-old boy who was shot in the right hip. Another female was shot in the chest. It wasn’t immediately clear which of the victims she is.
An eyewitness said there were roughly 1,000 people in the park celebrating Easter, many grilling and eating with their families. She said two women were sitting on top of a blue Dodge Charger when someone opened fire, striking the Charger and the two women. The witness said one of those women is the person who authorities say was shot in the chest; the witness said the other is the deceased victim. She was pronounced dead in the back seat of the vehicle.
The witness said one person opened fire, and then multiple people started shooting in different directions. She saw people running and leaving, so police and ambulances were having trouble getting in. “They didn’t even know what they were shooting at,” she said, estimating that about 100 shots were fired.
Mauldin said investigators believe an altercation among a group of males took place, which led to the shots fired. The majority of the victims are believed to have been innocent bystanders.
“This park was full of people, full of families, and we know people saw things,’’ Mauldin said. “We need people to come forward with any information you have concerning this incident. No matter how big or small you think it is, its valuable to us tonight. We need descriptions. We need names.”
Patton Park has long been a gathering place on Sundays. While there has been trouble in the past from the crowds, police said there have not been any problems there in quite some time. “But today is a major problem,’’ Mauldin said.
“We have to stand up for our communities when things like this happen,’’ he said. “This was a park full of people and there were several children in the park tonight.”
Mauldin said such violence is frustrating for the community. “People want to come out to our parks and have a good time, enjoy their families,’’ he said. “These suspects chose to put everybody in danger.”
“This incident just shows we have a lot of work to do,’’ Mauldin said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Birmingham police at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.
This post will be updated.