Montgomery teen shot in church parking lot

| May 17, 2010

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – Gunshots rang out in the parking lot of a church and a teenager is left fighting for his life.

"I just hope my brother stays alive."

Chaos erupts in a quiet neighborhood after a game of basketball turns violent.

Earl Matthews saw the crime play out. He and a group of friends brought their game to the parking lot of Community Congregational United Church of Christ after another cluster of young men threatened them near Bellingrath.

"We were supposed to go out there and play basketball. Today, because they've been trying to jump us for the last few weeks," says Matthews.

Neighbors say the other group opened fire across the parking lot.

"They just started shooting. I thought it was a blowout at first. I said, no that's not a blowout, that's a gun…and then they just started shooting and the bullets went through the trees, then the boy jumped up and I saw he was shot," says eyewitness Kenneth Hilliard.

Police tell WSFA 12 News a twenty to twenty five-year old shooter struck a 15-year old in the chest near the edge of the lot. The teen's friends sprang into action.

"I had held him. As the bullet…the bullet was inside of him. I held him, and dragged him over here into the yard, said Matthews.

"You've got to have better parenting, better control around here."

Neighbors and family friends don't know what to think. They're shocked that young teens would resort to such violence.

"You can see the basketball goal right there, we play ball there all the time. Anybody can ride through there can see us playing ball all the time. It's just a senseless crime, it needs to stop," stated Montgomery resident Donnell Walker.

As residents await news of the young man's fate, they cringe at the thought of what could happen in the weeks ahead.

"I don't think it's going to get any better. I don't think it's going to get any better," added Walker.

Police are still looking for the people responsible. They're asking anyone with information to call the Montgomery Area Crimestoppers hotline at 215-STOP.

Police say the teen is in critical, but stable condition. So far, no arrests have been made.

Stay with WSFA 12 News and for the latest developments.

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Category: Church Security