According to authorities, seven people were shot early Saturday when a gunman opened fire during a crowded Spring Break house party on the coast of Florida.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office says multiple 911 calls flooded in just before 1 a.m. Saturday reporting gunshots in Panama City Beach, Florida.
One victim, Tykeria Etheridge, thought she would not survive. “I was shot several times including in the neck. I just knew I was dead,” Etheridge wrote on Facebook. “All I could think about was my son. He’s all I got.”
The 22-year-old and some of the other victims had trekked the three-hour drive from Mobile, Alabama, to party. Etheridge says she was “just an innocent person like everybody else” when shots were fired into the crowded dance floor.
David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Alabama, has been charged with seven counts of attempted murder and is jailed awaiting an initial court appearance. There were no fatalities, but three people were critically wounded.
According to police:
Kearria Freed, 20, who was shot in the head; Devanta Moore, 21, who was shot in the chest; and Henton Franklin, 22, who was shot in the side. Three others were listed in stable condition: Jacole Young, 22, who police said was shot in the back three times; Kelli Curry, 21, who was shot in the leg; and Tykeria Ethridge, 22, who was shot in the neck and shoulder.
A seventh victim — Anesia Powell, 20 — was shot in the left arm, chest, and knee, and was undergoing surgery Saturday.
Jerome Saintjones, a spokesperson for Alabama A&M University, says that three of their students were injured during the melee. University officials are sending staff to Panama City Beach to assist the victims.
Hundreds of people have been arrested in the area near Panama City in recent weeks due to Spring Break gatherings. The alleged shooter is believed to have come to town with two friends while out on bond for his sixth arrest since 2012, Sheriff Frank McKeithen revealed at a press conference Saturday afternoon.
“It’s time to stop the bloodshed,” said council member Keith Curry, according to WMBB. “We’re lucky that we don’t have seven dead people.”
The Panama City Beach City Council called an emergency meeting on Saturday morning to address the increasingly chaotic Spring Break festivities that have left many residents fearing for their safety.
More coverage on the community’s reaction below.