MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Two shootings in two years at Ladd-Peebles Stadium — both during high school football games.
A game was supposed to be kicking off Thursday night at Ladd but instead was moved to Theodore High school after the most recent shooting Friday night.
Williamson High School was playing in both games. In 2019, Williamson was playing against LeFlore. A witness at the time told said a gun was pulled out during the third quarter of the game, causing people to panic. As the game was ending, shots were fired. Nine people, ranging in ages from 15-18 were hurt.
Then 17-year-old Deangelo Parnell was arrested the day after the shooting. Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in the days after the shooting in 2019 [the city would] “make sure this never ever happens again in the City of Mobile at any football game, or any public event where people are gathered to enjoy themselves.”
A few days after the shooting, the Mobile County Public School System installed metal detectors as part of their enhanced protocol for sporting events. “Four of them will be transported to Ladd stadium to be used at the gates on the East and West side there,” said Andy Gatewood in 2019, MCPSS Director of Security.
Police say the shooting at the Leflore and Williamson football game started with a fight between two people.
In Friday night’s shooting, Mobile police say there was also some type of argument between two groups. The suspect was in one of those groups. Police say he pulled out a gun and started shooting into the crowd in the west concourse of Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
“Unfortunately, there are instances, like this one, where we have to re-evaluate if what we already put into place worked,” Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine said.
Five people were shot in Friday night’s shooting at Ladd Peebles. The injured included three people ranging in ages from 15-17, an 18-year-old, and another adult. It happened with about six minutes left in the game.
19-year-old Jai Scott turned himself in the next day. A 17-year-old was also arrested in connection, and Mobile police are still searching for 19-year-old Hezekiah Belfon. Mobile police say they believe he fired the shots.
The Mobile County District Attorney’s office said in court three were caught on video leaving the game, going to a vehicle, and then returning to the stadium ramp once the metal detectors had been removed near the conclusion of the game.
The school system tells us fans are not allowed to go into the games starting during the third quarter, so usually around the middle of that quarter metal detectors are put away and the gates are closed for entry.
After the shooting, MCPSS announced they would be moving a few games scheduled to happen at Ladd-Peebles, to assess the situation and prepare for future games scheduled at the stadium.