According to WALA-TV, the shooting occurred about 2 a.m. Saturday as current and former students of Escambia County High School gathered at an Atmore community center that once housed Escambia County Middle School, police said. After two women got into a fight, shots were fired in the cafeteria and later in the parking lot, fatally striking one male victim and injuring eight others, authorities said.
Police arrived to find hundreds of panicked party guests and a "large amount of alcohol" at the chaotic scene, authorities told WKRG. Crews found a male victim's body in the cafeteria and transported the injured people to nearby hospitals for treatment, WALA reported. Police have not released their names.
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Authorities are seeking three or more suspects in connection with the deadly shooting, WKRG reported. No further information about them was immediately available.
In a statement Saturday, Escambia County High School Principal Dennis Fuqua expressed sadness that a day filled with triumph ended in tragedy.
"By day, our seniors experienced the high of obtaining $8.6 million in scholarships, and our varsity football team experienced their first win of the season," the statement read. "Yet, by night we all felt the pangs of tragedy due to the acts of violence that have left several of our past and present students injured. It is unfortunate that the event at the community center has tainted the success our seniors and football team felt, but we love our Blue Devil Family and will continue to pray for wisdom and healing."
>> Read the full statement here
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