Huntsville, Ala (WHNT) — A 21st birthday party turned deadly Sunday after shots were fired striking 11 and killing two.
The shooting happened at Legacy Events in Huntsville, according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. The two victims killed were Kaitlyn Jenkins and Quantasia Grant, both just 20-years-old.
In the wake of the violence, Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton shared his reaction to the tragedy as well as how the community can move forward.
“This is a countywide city-wide, state-wide, nationwide issue. and people at all levels need to come together to first of all pray about [it] and then let’s talk about what could have been done to prevent this without pointing fingers,” Simelton told News 19.
“Let’s just talk about what should have been done to prevent this,” he continued.
Simelton, like many others, has called for action from lawmakers to curb further loss of life from gun violence — especially amongst young people.
“Stricter gun control legislation will help in these cases,” Simelton said, “Make it more difficult for teenagers, young folks to have access to these types of weapons.”
On top of that, he also believes that parents need to have more involvement in their kid’s daily lives.
“I know sometimes kids will say ‘We don’t want mom and dad around, we’re grown, we’re capable of handling ourselves,’ but on something like this it just further indicates that there is a need for proper supervision,” Simelton told News 19. “There’s a need for involvement before children go out to an event like this on what to do and what not do and more importantly know your surroundings.”
Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner reiterated his commitment to change.
“It’s a tragic thing when you have young kids this age with 200 shell casings,” Turner said. “I’ve been in this over 30 years and it’s one of the first times that I’ve been on a crime scene with this many shell casings.”
Turner said he believes more arrests are likely in the wake of the shooting.