Shots fired on the Strip

Two men were loaded into an ambulance on stretchers at the scene following the shooting.

An altercation on the Strip Thursday morning that involved gunshots left two men hospitalized, including Crimson Tide receiver DeAndrew White.

The altercation occurred on the 1200 block of University Boulevard. A 20-year-old male was injured during the physical altercation and was transported to DCH with non-life threatening injuries, according to a UA News email. The Tuscaloosa News confirmed that the 20-year-old was Crimson Tide wide receiver DeAndrew White.

During the altercation, two males who were not involved in the fight pulled handguns and fired in the air to disperse the crowd, the email stated. The two males were apprehended by University Police officers, and both firearms were recovered.

Buffalo Phil’s employee David Ingram was the other victim in last night’s incident, said Kara Smith, his co-worker. He was also transported to DCH Medical Center, where a CT scan revealed he had sustained head trauma.

“[Ingram] is a trained fighter and really big guy, and the nurse said when they found him, he was completely unconscious in front of Houndstooth,” Smith said. “He was pretty out of it and we asked him, ‘Do you know what happened to you?’ and he said ‘I don’t know, I don’t know what happened,’” Smith said. The UA News email said it is currently unknown whether Ingram was involved in the same altercation as White.

Smith said she saw several Crimson Tide coaches and football players at the hospital, including Coach Scott Cochran and linebacker Nico Johnson.

An email sent from the UA Emergency system at 2:47 a.m. today alerted students and faculty to the situation. “Shots fired on the Strip. Officers on scene. One suspect in custody. Take necessary precautions,” the first alert read, in its entirety.

“Situation cleared,” a second alert read at 3:48 a.m. “Both suspects in custody. No gunshot injuries. Follow up investigations continue.”

Eyewitness photos show a crowd near the corner of University Boulevard and Red Drew Avenue in front of Egan’s Bar following the incident. Emergency responders loaded White and Ingram into an ambulance on stretchers at the scene. Police blocked off University Boulevard and Marr’s Spring Road, an on-campus road under half a mile away from where the shots were fired, less than an hour after the shooting.

Smith said student unease about safety on the Strip would likely increase following the incident. “People are going to be scared.” Smith said. “At the end of the night people sometimes just have had too much to drink and do stupid things.”

UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said UAPD and TPD maintain a high presence on the Strip, which allowed them to be on site immediately and take the individuals into custody very quickly.

  • April Zark

    And this warranted texts and phone calls from the University at 2:30 in the morning… why??? While I appreciate the system that UA has in place to warn us, this incident had little to do with 99% of the University’s population. Save the alerts for the situations that warrant them.

    • Kimberly (K.C.) Vick

      I am a student that lives on Reed Street, which is just off of the Strip. Because of my proximity to the incident, I am thankful that UA thought it warranted an alert. A good portion of students, faculty, and staff actually do live close to the Strip (I am certain more than 1%) and because of this, I would hope that students, faculty, and staff that do not live close-by would be willing to put up with the odd, middle-of-the-nite alerts about things that don’t directly threaten them in order to keep our entire community safe and aware. If it happened in your neighborhood, April Zark, I think you would consider it warranted…

      • April Zark

        If it happened in my neighborhood, there would be no text. Nor is there a text when you grow up, graduate, get a big girl job and move away. You just deal with it. And, as I said to a reply in a later comment, I never considered this a “gunman on the loose” situation. It was just some idiot who decided to fire his gun in the air while trying to break up a fight… cause that’s a GREAT idea. The minute I saw “on the strip” in the text, I rolled my eyes and went back to sleep. If it had happened at Bidgood at 3 in the afternoon, that’s another story. I just think it warrants some more investigation into what happened rather than jumping to the conclusion that 40 thousand people need to be alerted in the middle of the night because some kids got drunk and stupid. 

        • Preston Kreisler

          April, what you’re saying is completely ignorant. Maybe you didn’t consider it a “gunman on the loose” situation, but what if it actually was? Kimberly is right in that it was completely warranted. When gunshots are reported at a location practically on campus, and only people on the strip know what happened, how can you not consider that something worth informing the rest of campus about? You’re basically saying that you only want to be notified about things that you consider safety threats. We should be appreciative of the fact that UA has such an efficient system and cares enough to notify its students of any and all potential safety risks. Better safe than sorry, April. Better safe than sorry. 

    • yeahsowhatrtr

      Maybe because earlier when there was a bomb threat, the University didn’t send anything out for awhile and people got angry at them for not giving us any warning.  We got mad and claimed they didn’t care about our safety.  Now people are getting mad for ensuring the safety of the students.  They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t with you people.

      • Kim Atkins

        I agree!!  If they hadn’t sent out the alerts everyone would be saying “Well they should have at least let us know about the situation.”

      • April Zark

        I wasn’t mad that it took them a while to let us know about the bomb threats. I thought what they did was very appropriate. So, I am not sure who you are referring to when you say “you people”.

    • Lilly Hall

      You can change your alert settings to only receive texts, if you’re bothered by phone calls. We have weather sirens if that is your only concern. 

      • April Zark

        It’s not, but thank you for letting me know. 

  • tdigital2979

    Well, you can see by the city’s and University’s reaction that this town is very safe. I think UA may have ‘jumped the gun’ as it were on the warnings but I think everyone is still a little jumpy from last April. Honestly, I think they really wanted to try the emergency notification system out on something non weather related to see how it works in case we get another tornado. 

    • April Zark

      While I can understand the jumpiness, I still think this was a poor use of the service. They test it the first Wednesday of every month, they know it works. When my phone rang at 2:30 in the morning and I saw it was a 348- number, I thought there WAS a tornado, even though the weather wasn’t bad. 

      • tdigital2979

        luckily my cell phone was in the other room so I don’t feel your pain, but true enough, I get way too many notifications, I think I need to explore some opt out action on mybama

  • Tyra Hilliard

    I’m sure it wasn’t meant for us, April.  But there are always a lot of students on the Strip and it could have been a shooting rampage a la Virginia Tech. I’m grateful for the texts and calls…for their sake.

    • April Zark

      Hi Tyra! :) Long time no see! No, you are right. I am sure they were not thinking of faculty/staff when they sent them. And they are easy to ignore if needed, but I don’t want it to become a “boy that cried wolf” situation where people stop paying attention to them. 

  • David Strong

    Notice that the first alert said 1 suspect in custody and then the second said 2 were in custody. Likely they were worried about one of the suspects getting on campus, possibly armed. I understand a lot of students and faculty were off campus, but there are students living on campus as well. As of right now, there is no way to just send messages to students who happen to be on campus.

    I believe I would be upset more with UA if they had not sent anything with a suspect on the loose.

    • April Zark

      I guess I just never thought of it as a “gunman on the loose” situation. Since it was on the strip and altercations happen so often on the strip, I just automatically assumed that it was a one on one situation. Of course, if a gunman actually came to campus, the text/call service would be invaluable.