Two shot during community center argument

By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — Two people were shot when an argument broke out at the Community Center about 11 p.m. Nov. 16.

Police Lt. Dave Williams confirmed the shooting Monday, but said no arrests had been made before press time. He said the incident happened near the back of the parking lot near Philomene Avenue and the identities of the victims have not been released, but they are continuing to investigate the matter.

“This is not something we see too often in our community, and it is very unfortunate,” Williams said. “There were a lot of people there and a lot of property damage to the area. It could have been a lot worse and we are thankful it wasn’t. We will continue to review what information we have before anything more is released.”

On Friday, police said the investigation reached a dead-end because no witnesses have stepped forward to provide any new information.

Dan Vasquez, operations manager for Temple Entertainment Co., which handles the day-to-day operations of the community center said the auditorium was rented for a birthday party, but the on-site security officers cleared out the building before the shooting began.

He said one victim sustained a gunshot wound to the hand and the other was shot in the shoulder. The bullet that hit the second victim, Vasquez said, travelled through his shoulder, into his jaw, and exited through his eye.

Williams and Vasquez said the victims drove themselves to the hospital before police arrived, so paramedics were not called to the scene.

Vasquez said the center held over 200 events since TEC took over the community center and something like this has never happened before. The reason for the fight is unclear, Vasquez said, but it is believed to stem from an argument between two rap groups that were at the party.

“This was definitely an isolated incident,” Vasquez said. “We thought everything was over after they left the building. But once everyone got outside, the shots began.”

The community center resumed normal activities Sunday morning.

Police obtained video surveillance of the incident, but Williams said they are gathering the information they can from the video. Williams is asking for anyone with information to call the Allen Park police at 313-386-7800.

“(The birthday party) was publicized on social media beforehand and there were over 100 people in attendance,” he said. “A lot of people were seen on the video, so there are people who know something. We have talked to a few people, but we would like more information at this point. Any additional information we can get would help our investigation.”

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)

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