Millbrook police looking for leads in gunfire reported during softball tourney

Published 6:15pm Monday, April 14, 2014

Millbrook police spent most of Monday investigating widespread reports of gunfire during a softball tournament Saturday night.

Police Chief P.K. Johnson said his department received a report at 9:46 p.m. Saturday “in reference to shots fired in the area” of the Millbrook Softball Complex.

“We didn’t find anything,” Johnson said. “To be honest, I’ve spent the better part of the day (Monday) trying to identify who in the area might have seen what happened and I don’t have a lot to go on.”

Lauren Hines, wife of the coach of the the 10-and-Under “Bama Girls” softball team from Alexander City, said the team was playing in the tourney final when she heard eight pops ring out from the parking lot.

“No one else reacted, so I thought maybe it was fireworks,” she said. “Then it started again and everyone started running, so we cleared our girls off the field.”

Hines said she heard 15 or 16 gunshots in two separate bursts. Reports varied as to whether the shots were fired into the air or in the direction of other vehicles or individuals. No injuries were reported.

Millbrook officers did receive a “good description” of two vehicles believed involved, Johnson said.

“But when (officers) located and stopped the vehicles, we were unable to find anyone who was armed, who had firearms or anything like that,” he said.

A number of parents who heard the shots ring out posted their experiences on social media.

“The girls were terrified,” Hines said Monday, noting they quickly cleared the field and moved as many girls as they could find into a bathroom for shelter.

“Some of our girls were in tears; some of the mothers were in tears,” she said. “There were kids who we couldn’t find for a little bit, because they were hiding under bushes, or down the hill by the creek. They say they will not go play ball in Millbrook again.”

Hines said her team was playing one field away from the parking lots where the shots were heard.

Johnson said they don’t have a lot of leads at this point and expressed frustration that so much information was posted online and shared with the media, while so few details were shared with police.

Hines said she was especially upset that parents of “The Bama Girls”  had to walk into a parking lot where they’d just heard shots fired with no visible police protection nearby.

Johnson said he’s a father of two, including a daughter who has played games at that park.

“We take it very seriously when someone discharges a firearm and threatens people,” he said. “The whole world knows about it, but no one is calling us with any information that might be useful.”

Johnson urged anyone with information about the incident to call Millbrook police. The Millbrook PD’s confidential witness hotline is 334-285-8500.

  • Kristy Blankenship

    What’s sad is the tournament officials let the tournament continue and if you didn’t want to play you had to forfit. That shows no concerns for our children’s safety. Our team was playing when this happened and it scared our girls to death.

  • Sonya Wilson

    I am astounded by the Police Chief’s comments. When the police got there, they made no attempt to 1. Break up the party, 2. Question any of the witnesses or 3. Offer to walk any of us to our cars in the very parking lot where the shots occurred. It wouldn’t be hard for the police to “find people who saw what happened” if they questioned ANYONE at the scene!

  • Ronnie

    the police had plenty of opportunities to interview people that night, they just didn’t. we never got any assurance that it was alright to go to our cars. i had to walk my little girl close to the where the party was and there wasn’t any police close to the party that was going on. I GUESS IT WAS EASIER TO SHUT DOWN A SOFTBALL TOURNEY RATHER THAN SHUT DOWN A PARTY.

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