EAST NORRITON, Pa. (CBS) — A manhunt is on for a 17-year-old boy who Montgomery County authorities say shot five people, killing one, inside of an East Norriton Township bowling alley. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office identified Jamel Barnwell of Upper Darby, Delaware County, as the suspect in Saturday night’s shooting at Our Town Alley.
Authorities said Barnwell fatally shot 29-year-old Frank Wade of Philadelphia and wounded four others in the incident. An arrest warrant has been issued for the teen, who is facing a first-degree murder charge.READ MORE: Seven New Laws Boost Protection For Sexual Assault Victims In New Jersey
“He can’t have a gun and he did. You’ve seen it in the pictures,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said during a video news conference Sunday. “We saw it in the surveillance video last night. This is an ongoing problem. This is the mechanism of death. Far too many weapons out there right now.”
Authorities said surveillance video shows Barnwell and three other people entering the bowling alley at 6:39 p.m. on Saturday and two minutes later, the suspect is seen handing his cellphone to one of the other men with who he entered the establishment.
According to the DA, a physical altercation began between Barnwell, Wade and others at 6:42 p.m. That’s when, authorities said, Barnwell pulled a gun and fired 15 shots, striking Wade and five other people. All of the victims are related, according to Steele.
Barnwell also shot Wade while he was already on the ground, Steele said.
An autopsy revealed that Wade died from gunshot wounds. His death has been ruled a homicide.
The four other gunshot victims — ages between 18 and 31 — are recovering from their injuries, authorities said.
It’s unclear at this point of the investigation if Barnwell and Wade have had previous altercations.
Barnwell’s cellphone was left at the scene. Inside the phone, there were photos of him.
“The weapon used in this homicide was 45 caliber with an extended mag,” Steele said.
Our Town Alley is a popular spot for families close to the East Norriton area. Officials said there were between 50 to 75 people inside the bowling alley at the time of the shooting.
Eyewitnesses described the scene as chaotic. There is a window at the bowling alley boarded up. Officials said a father threw a barstool through the glass in order to get his kids out once the gunfire began.
Annie Croak was inside the bowling alley at the time of the incident.READ MORE: Danelo Cavalcante Arrested After Killing Ex-Girlfriend In Front Of Her Children, Police Say
“By the fourth or fifth shot that’s when people realized something’s wrong and it was very chaotic after that,” Croak said. “We all just kind of ran for cover.”
Authorities said the suspect and victims were not residents of the area. The victims are from Philadelphia and the last known residence of Barnwell is in Upper Darby, Steele said.
BREAKING: Montgomery County prosecutors have an arrest warrant for murder out for Jamel Barnwell, 17, of Upper Darby in connection to the fatal shooting at an E. Norriton bowling alley. The victim was ID’d as Frank Wade, 29. Four other men were also shot. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/j5MRuUTG14
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) February 21, 2021
“None of these folks are local to this establishment,” Steele said. “What I will say too, I hope that people at some point get the message not to commit murders in Montgomery County because we solve our murders, and we’re going to hold people accountable for their actions and things that they do here.”
Police are also searching for the two people who were with Barnwell. Barnwell is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911, or 610-278-3648.
Our Town Alley released a statement regarding the incident. It reads:
“Our Town Alley management and staff are devastated by the violence that occurred at our establishment Saturday evening, February 20, 2021. Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and our entire community, which has been rattled by this unusual incident.
Going back to its days as Facenda Whitaker Lanes, Our Town Alley has always been a safe place where families come to enjoy themselves, a place for friends and camaraderie. As East Norriton Township Chief of Police Brandon Pasquale told news outlets, this incident is an anomaly, an uncommon occurrence in our neighborhood. It follows a year that has been tough on our business, our patrons, and our community because of the pandemic.
Just as we have been recovering from this difficult past year, we will also recover from this event. We affirm our mission to maintain a family-friendly, fun entertainment center. We are committed to working with authorities, security experts, and community leaders to make sure nothing like this happens again at our establishment.”MORE NEWS: Hammonton Police Searching For Man Wanted For Possible Child Luring Attempt
CBS3’s Dan Koob and Alicia Roberts contributed to this report.