Auburn Police and Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes are expecting additional charges in addition to the murder charge already filed against 17-year-old Jarvis Nichols.
"I would expect there are going to be more charges coming out of this," Hughes told The Plainsman. "You had multiple people injured, multiple people shooting guns — at least that is what the preliminary investigation shows."
The shooting Sunday near the McDonald's on West Magnolia Avenue killed one man, Evan Mikale Wilson, 20, from Tuskegee, and injured four others, including a 21-year-old Auburn student. The shooting was not inside McDonald's.
The Auburn student and another victim were released from East Alabama Medical Center Sunday after treatment, though one other was was admitted. East Alabama Medical Center could not provide an update on the third victim.
A fourth victim was in serious condition Sunday after the shooting. They were flown to Piedmont Midtown Columbus Regional Medical Center, which hasn't responded to a request for comment.
Police and the DA said the type of guns used, the exact number of weapons and whether those guns were legally owned and permitted can't be released at this time.
"There were a lot of shots fired and different guns used, and we're still sorting all of that out at this point," Hughes said.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Federal law prohibits the possession of a handgun or handgun ammunition by any person under the age of 18, and Alabama state law prohibits the selling, giving or lending of a pistol to any person under the age of 18.
And under federal law, dealers may not sell or deliver a handgun or ammunition for a handgun to any person the dealer has reasonable cause to believe is under age of 21.
Auburn Police Division Capt. Lorenza Dorsey, the department's spokesman, confirmed police recovered more than one weapon at the scene, but said he couldn't get into descriptions of the weapons.
"With it being an ongoing investigation, we can't get into it at this point," Dorsey said. "Once it's completed, it will be sent to the DA to review and to a grand jury, trial and then the process. We can't get into evidence and that type of thing until it goes to trial."
Dorsey said the investigation isn't over.
"We're anticipating additional charges, but we're still waiting on the investigation and ballistics testing and that type of thing so we can determine the other victims, what type weapons and who was responsible for those issues," Dorsey said.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, who oversees the Lee County Jail, confirmed Jarvis Nichols, from the county area near Opelika, was arrested Sunday evening at about 7:15 p.m. and charged with one count of murder. He was booked at the Lee County Jail shortly thereafter.
The U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force assisted in the arrest, which took place at a home in Auburn.
The suspect was transported to the Lee County Jail, where he is being held on a $150,000 bond. Auburn Police said he is being charged as an adult, and Hughes said he plans to send a strong message by prosecuting those responsible.
"You have homicides in any county in this state and any in this country, that happens," Hughes said. "But when you've got young teenagers — 16- and 17-year-old teenagers — in the downtown area of any city and get out of a vehicle, guns in hand, obviously they're prepared to do whatever it is they feel they need to do."
The shooting prompted a quick reaction from the University through its emergency alert system because of its near proximity to campus, downtown nightlife and Toomer's Corner. Police said they were already on the scene working a disorderly crowd when they first received word of the shooting.
Hughes, who has two children at Auburn, said the location and proximity to campus added an additional level of concern to the situation.
"There were countless college students down there. There were countless Auburn fans and Alabama State fans there — people who were just there to enjoy the game, and the night ends in this garbage," Hughes said.
Hughes said the actions on Sunday are unacceptable.
"These are kids, but I don't say that as a way to mitigate it, because it doesn't," Hughes said. "But they went out like big boys, well guess what, they're in it now, and they're going to face big-boy charges. And one day, if we do our jobs correctly, they're going to face big-boy prison."
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman