When several people were injured at a bowling alley in Montgomery, ordinary people came forward to lend aid and identify the alleged shooter.
Montgomery Police Chief Ramona Harris issued a statement after 21-year-old Jeffrey Reed was fatally injured, two people were seriously injured and four others were shot and killed around 1 a.m. Sunday at the Bama Lanes bowling alley on Atlanta Highway.
“We appreciate the community coming forward to help identify the culprit and provide first aid — ordinary people acting in extraordinary ways,” Harris said.
Based on the investigation, Harris said there was a verbal altercation between people at the establishment that led to the shooting.
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A video circulating on Facebook reportedly taken in the bowling alley shows customers having a verbal altercation before the sound of gunfire is heard and people begin to disperse for the violence.
An off-duty Montgomery police officer was working with a private security guard and was at the bowling alley at the time of the shooting.
“Within seconds of the shooting, the police officer and other customers provided first aid to the injured and called the officer for backup,” Harris said. “While other customers left the company, it is believed the gunman fled the scene at the time.”
Tory Johnson, 23, was identified by community members, Harris said. Johnson is charged with murder, two counts of first-degree assault and four counts of second-degree assault.
Four of the injured, Harris said, appear to be innocent bystanders.
“This was an isolated shooting incident in which several people were injured and one person was killed as a result of reckless conduct with a firearm,” Harris said.
Reed’s death is the city’s fourth homicide so far this year. The Montgomery Police Department investigated 76 murders last year, nearly 90% of which were caused by gunfire.
“I want the people of Montgomery to know that we are not in a hopeless state,” Harris said. “The Montgomery Police Department continues to invest in and expand technology assets that will help combat gun violence. We are also placing an even greater emphasis on community engagement through outreach and awareness that will hopefully change and positively impact the culture and mindset we have. see today.”
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Kirsten Fiscus at 334-318-1798 or KFiscus@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @KDFiscus