HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The search is on for several suspects involved in a fight and shooting near Alabama A&M University's campus.
It started around 11:20 a.m. Thursday. Huntsville police say the fight happened in the parking lot of the Conley Plaza, a small shopping center on Meridian Street and gunshots were fired. The plaza is located across the street from the university.
The initial call went out as an active shooter, leading to a massive response from law enforcement.
No one was shot, but one person was taken to the hospital with a minor injury from the fight.
"It was determined later that there was a fight taking place in the parking lot of this store. It didn't appear that anyone was seriously hurt. We had units respond to the hospital and we have, at this time, one victim. We do have a couple of shell casings but we don't have any shooting victims or anything further," said Lt. Kevin O'Connell of the Huntsville Police Department.
While there was no active shooter situation nor immediate threat at Alabama A&M, there was increased police presence to protect students.
Police located the victim in the incident, who was running toward the school's athletic complex, just as students were concluding rehearsal for one of the university's largest graduation ceremonies on Friday. The graduation practice was put on soft lockdown for a short period of time as police sorted things out.
A dark-colored Dodge Charger was spotted leaving the scene. No arrests have been made at this time.
"The information we got initially was quite serious. As soon as the officers responded and started securing the scene, we started getting updated information saying it wasn't what we expected. We still had units respond until we determined that it was in fact, safe for everyone to return," Lt. O'Connell explained.
Huntsville police were appreciative of the law enforcement support they received in working to secure the area to protect students and businesses. Several local agencies responded.
"Here in Huntsville, we have a good relationship with all the different agencies. It's amazing how quick everyone responded without us having to call them. In fact, once we got here, we had to get on the radio and ask them to slow up because we have the scene secured. It's great that we have a community in North Alabama that helps each other out," Lt. O'Connell stated.
Pastor Wallace Steele watched the scene unfold next to the plaza at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
"The officers were trying to make sure that things have settled down and that things are safe so in that light, we're thankful to have them out here doing their job," he said.
Emory Kelly, the owner of the Presidential Barbershop at Conley Plaza, says the fight involved two or three people.
"A little scuffle, it was real fast. They pulled off. A couple of shots rang out. It wasn't inside the shop. It wasn't even around the shop. It was when everyone was pulling off. We were still working after we removed them from the shop. Everyone was safe, everyone was fine," he added. "We don't have any problems like this. I've never seen this in the three or four years I've been running this place."
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