MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — In a viral TikTok video, Mobile native Mica Neal captures the moments where thousands of people were running for their lives in the deadly shooting in Downtown Mobile on New Year’s Eve.
Neal said he was visiting Mobile from his home in Tampa for the MoonPie over Mobile Drop. He was at the Third Eye Blind concert until someone yelled that there was a shooting. Once he heard that, he was noticed a crowd of people running away from apparent popping noises.
“They’re yelling about shooting and I turned around,” said Neal. “And here comes this mob of people at me, so I have my phone in my hand, and I just started recording and kind of stepped away out of the road into you know, by some other stuff up against a wall. If they’re gonna run into something, I want them to run into that, not run me over.”
Neal says he recorded the video around 11:15 p.m. which is the same time investigators said the shooting took place. He at first didn’t realize what was happening, but after reviewing the video he believes he captured the gunshots.
“I didn’t really realize that I actually heard the gunshots,” said Neal. “And so, I went back and looked at my video and realized that I caught them because, you know, you got fireworks, you got kids, you know, got snap pops, you got all this stuff going on at that time. And then, you know, of course somebody starts yelling, shooting or whatever, and you turn around and you see a mob of people. So I actually really realized I actually caught gunfire on the video until I went back and watched the video that I that I had taken.”
Neal’s video has surpassed over one million views on his TikTok account, @micaunleashed. He said he’s not an avid user on the platform, so this many views is new for him.
“I just have a TikTok for my travels,” said Neal. “And for my hiking and exploring and my photography. I didn’t plan on obviously having something like this to share.”
Nine people were shot, and Jatarious Reives, 24, was killed. People have the suspected shooter in custody; however, they are not releasing his identity because they are still investigating.
Police have confirmed the weapon used that night was a glock switch, which is a small part that converts a semi-automatic to fire fully automatic.
Mobile Chief of Police Paul Prine said two people were involved in some sort of argument, and several people were shooting that night. He said more charges could come.
“I think at this stage in the game, we’ve got the shooter,” said Prine. “And that’s really the most important part, the additional charges could come from the other bystanders that were injured. But again, you know, there’s a lot to learn, there’s a lot that we’ve got to determine in order to make those cases and be able to prove it in court.”
Prine said Downtown Mobile will continue to be a safe area. He emphasizes that nothing can stop criminals who intend on doing something wrong.
“If somebody’s intent, or bent on hurting someone, or worse, killing someone, I could have had another 100 officers down there, and it would have not prevented anything,” said Prine. “And so the public needs to understand. There have been many interviews by local media down there interviewing patrons down on Dauphin Street, that simply said Mobile police was out in full force, people felt safe. And the thing to know is that people do feel safe. And we did have a large contingency of officers out there. When I’ve always said from the very beginning of my administration, we’re not going to tolerate this criminal activity. Not tolerating doesn’t mean that we’re always going to be in a position to prevent it or stop it. But it does mean where we can when we can. We will expand every resources at this city to bring people to justice.”
This shooting won’t stop Neal from coming back to his hometown for the Moon Pie Drop next year.
“The same thing goes on every city across America. I mean, this isn’t this isn’t just for Mobile,” said Neal. “Aany big city is going to have some kind of issue, whether it be a moon pie drop, or a Halloween drop or a Christmas something that’s there’s always going to be some kind of drama. It’s just the way it is. And people shouldn’t let that scare them away. If that’s the case, and then the evil has won. And that’s what we have to be stronger and better about.”