May 11, 2009
WEST POINT -- A shoving match turned into a shootout during a high school party in West Point, according to West Point police.
Friday at 11:20 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in West Point, four people were shot after a fight broke out at a West Point High School senior party, said West Point Police Department Detective Romelle Matthews.
"We had a social event going on, and a couple guys from Columbus came over and it got out of hand," said Matthews, lead investigator in the case. "We are in the process of an investigation now to apprehend the shooters."
The altercation began in the building and spilled outside, Matthews explained. Shortly thereafter, shots were fired into the crowd.
Police believe there might have been as many as two shooters firing.
The four victims'' names are not being released, because, said Matthews, they also are witnesses. Only one of the four victims sustained injuries severe enough to be taken to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Matthews noted.
The victim was treated for a gunshot wound to the groin and has since been released. The other three, he said, were only grazed by the bullets. All the victims were between the ages of 17 and 18.
Matthews said there were approximately 100 people at the party.
Arrests are expected to be made as soon as today, said Matthews without revealing details on the suspects.
"Right now the investigation is still fresh, and we don''t want to release any information which might tip off the shooters," he said.
The party was not sponsored by the West Point School District.