Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes is promising to punish those involved in Sunday morning's shooting near downtown Auburn.
"Believe this: I will do everything in my power to assure the perpetrator of these crimes is punished appropriately and will do so in a way that sends a strong message," Hughes said Monday. "The message that our community is not where you want to come and turn our streets into a shooting gallery — regardless of your age. The police will find you, my office will prosecute you, and you will go to prison."
The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning, just hours after Auburn's football team defeated Alabama State. The location added to the significance of the shooting given its close proximity to downtown bars and Toomer's Corner.
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Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones confirmed to The Plainsman that Jarvis Nichols, from the county area near Opelika, was arrested Sunday evening and charged with one count of murder.
He was booked at the Lee County Jail shortly thereafter. He'll be charged as an adult.
"The events of early Sunday morning in downtown Auburn have me concerned and infuriated both as a father of two Auburn students and as the District Attorney," Hughes said. "The fact that we had armed teenagers running the streets at 2:30 in the morning who clearly had no compunction whatsoever about pulling a gun, pointing a gun, and firing a gun is unacceptable. This reckless behavior put countless innocent citizens at risk who were simply enjoying an Auburn football game and the great things that accompany that experience."
Three of the five — a 17-year-old male from Opelika, a 19-year-old female from Opelika, and the 21-year-old male Auburn University student from Hilton Head, South Carolina — were transported by ambulance to East Alabama Medical Center for treatment of apparent non-life-threatening injuries.
A 16-year-old from Opelika was airlifted by Lifesaver helicopter to Piedmont Midtown Regional Medical Center in Columbus, Georgia, with serious injuries.
Auburn Police Captain Lorenza Dorsey said Monday that police expect additional arrests after an "exchange of gunfire" from multiple weapons.
"If you are a parent of a teenager, please use this as a teaching moment for why they do not need to be out running the streets at that time of the morning," Hughes said. "If the parents won't handle it on the front end, the police, the District Attorney's Office, and the justice system stand ready to handle it on the back end."
Nichols was booked into the Lee County Jail, where he is being held on a $150,000 bond.
"We continue to pray for all persons involved and ask that anyone with information about this case please contact the Auburn Police Division or the Lee County District Attorney's Office," Hughes said.
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