CCTV Footage Identifies Suspect in Shooting
In what is begin seen as a horrible and unforeseen tragedy today, a man entered a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, very early in the morning and opened fire on several people. Official reports say that seventeen people have been injured as a result of this seemingly random spree of violence.
According to Tuscaloosa police Sgt. Brent Blankley, the suspect in the incident has been apprehended. Police were able to recognize him by reviewing the bar’s CCTV security surveillance camera footage. Blankley said in an official statement that he is now in police custody. He added that more details would be released to the public during a press conference scheduled for today at 2:00PM.
The bar where the shooting incident occurred is located nearby to the University of Alabama campus.
In his public statement, Police Chief Steve Anderson said that the suspect appeared to be a stocky white male between 5 foot 7 and 5 foot 9. Anderson said that, according to the surveillance footage, the suspect walked up the bar, waited for a few moments, then stepped into the bar and began firing what the police have called a “military style” weapon which injured 17 people.
17 people were admitted to the DCH Hospital with injuries directly related to the shooting. Anderson said that he could not disclose how many people had been shot compared to how many people had been grazed or caught by shrapnel or a ricochet; he did mention, however, that one victim is in extremely critical condition, while three others are in critical condition.
Police will work with federal authorities to enhance the surveillance footage, he said.
Eleven shell casings have been recovered, Blankley said. The casings will be compared to those from a shooting that happened in a nearby neighborhood earlier in the evening, Anderson said. surveillance video shows armed man
The shooting occurred about 12:30 a.m. at the Copper Top bar, Blankley said.
DCH hospital briefly went on lockdown after the incident in order to handle the influx of patients.
Riley Dunn, a University of Alabama senior who was injured in the shooting, told The Tuscaloosa News that 80 to 90 people were in the bar at the time.
“We were all just shooting pool and hanging out,” Dunn said. “It was kind of loud from the music, but we heard the gunshot, and no one really knew what to think. The first gunshot took place, then about 20 seconds later, that’s when he really started firing them off. After that, everyone really scattered.”
Dunn said he sustained a a shrapnel-like wound to his leg.
Anderson said three of the people injured during the shooting were students.
Justin McDaniel, who was with Dunn at the scene, told The Tuscaloosa News that the injured left trails of blood outside the bar. He wasn’t injured, but his shirt had large splotches of blood on it from running through the bar, the newspaper said.
“We started getting away from the gunshot, like going towards out front, and that’s where all the shooting really took place at,” one witness told CNN affiliate WBMA. All he could see, he said, was “sparks and people ducking and glass busting. … We never saw the guy shooting.”
Tuscaloosa, about 60 miles southwest of Birmingham, is home to the University of Alabama. The Copper Top is about a mile from campus.