The Sylacauga Police Department has provided an update:
I know that many of you are aware of the horrible incident that occurred last night in our city. I want the people of Sylacauga to know that the Sylacauga Police Department is going to do everything in its power to bring the people responsible for the assault on the SHS student to justice. SPD investigators have been working since the initial call to gather statements and evidence to try and get the evidence needed to make a case against the perpetrators involved in such a senseless act of violence.
I have been in contact with SHS/BOE officials and I want all of the parents and students to know that full time SPD presence in our High School and Middle School will be strengthened starting Monday, October 3, 2016, and per Dr. Todd Freeman will continue until all of the tensions are calmed.
SPD has been able to identify persons of interest and have interviewed some. At this time there is no evidence from witnesses or any others involved that SHS students, with the exception of the victim, were involved in the assault. I do ask for all of your help in trying to relieve tensions in our city by not posting negative things on social media. I understand that some of you are concerned that SPD or BOE will “sweep this under the rug,” but any intelligent person should see that that is not possible. I am not one to “sweep” any crime under anything much less a crime as violent as this.
I now ask everyone to pray for the 17 year old victim of this assault, his family, the officers and investigators working the case and while your at it say a little prayer for our community as a whole so that maybe we can get past this and be a stronger community because of it. I call on our Pastors and community leaders to step up and help us bridge this divide between the black and white races. It will take us all make a difference.
Kelley B. Johnson
Chief of Police
The Sylacauga Police Department issued the following press release this morning:
The Sylacauga Police Department is investigating the assault of a 17 year old Sylacauga High School student that happened in our city on September 30, 2016, around 10:00 p.m.
Officers responded to the “Old Ace Hardware” parking lot to find the 17 year old male victim bleeding from his head. The victim was transported by Sylacauga Ambulance to Coosa Valley Medical Center and later transported to UAB by “Life Saver” helicopter. The victim is currently listed in “critical condition” at UAB with head injuries received in the assault.
There are many rumors afloat on social media that this incident may be stemming from an incident at SHS. This is at this time only rumors. It is however a part of the investigation. SPD is asking that the community allow us to do our jobs and not jump to conclusions about why this incident happened. SPD is praying for the victim and his family and also for our Community. I believe I speak for everybody when I say “the violence needs to stop, whether it is from the incident at the high school or for any other reason.”
Sylacauga Police Department is working diligently interviewing witnesses and reviewing video that may be pertinent to the incident. SPD is asking for anyone with information to please call (256) 401-2450.
Kelley B. Johnson
Chief of Police