It’s been a week since the shooting at a west Mobile movie theater injured four teenagers. Folks say the shooting happened because too many teenagers use the parking lot as a popular hangout other than actually seeing a movie. The city’s Public Safety Committee will be meeting with Police Chief James Barber this week to discuss the shooting. Meanwhile, we went to the theater to ask folks what they think should be done about it.
Despite what happened here Christmas night, folks say they still come to this movie theater on Schillinger Road.
“Yeah I still would. I mean I don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen all the time,” says James Johnson.
“Absolutely, I’ve been living around here for years and there’s been no problem and this is just an isolated incident,” says Darla Rester.
Witnesses say they heard an argument break out outside the theater and that’s when two people opened fire, striking four teenagers, two of which were only 14 years old.
It seems to be a Christmas tradition—these are police patrolling the theater near Government Street last Christmas. People say police should be there more often.
“I know they don’t have the manpower to do it all year, but during the holidays especially just placing one police patrol car here or something,” says Johnson.
“There should be more police patrolling. When there are a lot of young people gathering around and you know, anything could happen,” says Rester.
When our cameras got there, we were met by a rowdy crowd of mostly young teens, many of whom were not there to see a movie. Folks say that’s the root of the problem.
“Parent should be aware of what their children are doing because it seems like this theater has become a drop off point where the kids just go and hang out, which, they do need somewhere to hang out but at the same time, if you’re going to be at the theater, you need to buy a ticket and go and see the movie,” says “Carla”.
Three days after Christmas, 17-year-old Johnny Vail was named a person of interest and arrested on unrelated charges that pertained to two other shootings.
Police are still looking for other suspects.