Teenager Named Person of Interest in Christmas Shooting at Wynnsong Movie Theater

Mobile Police say a teenager who may be responsible for a Christmas night shooting at the Carmike Wynnsong movie theater in Mobile that left four injured is in custody on unrelated charges.

17-year-old Johnny Tyrece Vail was booked into Mobile Metro Jail late Sunday night on charges unrelated to the Christmas night shooting at Carmike Wynnsong. Vail was booked charges are unrelated though he is still considered a “person of interest” at this time. Formal charges pertaining to the movie theater shooting could be put forth as early as Monday evening, News 5 is told.

MPD Wynnsong PresserMobile Police Chief James Barber said at a press conference Monday morning that Vail is person of interest in the shooting that sent four to the hospital on Friday night, however, additional suspects are possible.

As we reported over the weekend, the shooting occurred late Friday night outside the Carmike Wynnsong movie theater on Schillinger Road, creating a frantic scene. Multiple witnesses said they saw an argument break out in the parking lot, and that’s when they heard the gunshots. Cell phone video showed people sprinting from the movie theater in a panic.

“A male juvenile and a female juvenile, both 14 years of age, were shot in the leg. The other two victims were adult males (18 years of age); one was shot in the abdomen, hip and thigh and the other was shot in the abdomen.  All were transported to a local hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening.” — Mobile Police, Saturday Dec. 26

News 5 cameras were swarmed by teenagers who gathered at the movie theater after the shooting, seemingly treating the violence as a spectacle to behold.  Teenagers were seen on News 5 footage making obscene gestures and rude comments towards our cameras.

Vail is charged with two counts of discharge of a gun in an occupied or unoccupied building or vehicle stemming from two separate, unrelated incidents preceding Friday night’s violence. 

According to court documents, on two separate occasions —10/1/2015 and 10/7/2015 — Vail fired shots in a dwelling (10/1/15) and an automobile (10/7/15) occupied by 69-year-old Willie Spencer in the area of 1100 Lucille Street.  Spencer has a lengthy criminal history on the Mobile jail logs.

No bond has been requested by the arresting officer.

Bond hearing has been set for 8:30am Tuesday before Judge Basenburg.

At the Monday press conference, Chief Barber said almost all of the teens and adults who were at the theater for the shooting had no intention of seeing a movie. He also stated that with the shooting occurring on Christmas night, there were police units near the theater.  It is not known whether body cam footage will be made available to the public.

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