Our Town Alley Issues Statement, Police Identify Suspect

We heard for the first time from the Management at Our Town Alley, where they expressed their dismay at the actions which took place on Saturday night and made a commitment to ensure they take steps to ensure it does not happen again.


"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."


This afternoon we also heard from Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele and East Norriton Police Chief Brandon Pasquale issued the statement below.


"Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and East Norriton Police Chief Brandon Pasquale announce the filing of charges against Jamel Barnwell, 17, of Upper Darby, related to the shooting that occurred inside Our Town Bowling Lanes in East Norriton Township last night that left one person dead and four others injured. The deceased man was identified as Frank Wade, 29, of Philadelphia.


On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at approximately 6:43 p.m., East Norriton Police responded to Our Town Bowling Lanes at 2912 Swede Street for multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired inside the business. Upon arrival, East Norriton officers located the victim, Frank Wade, deceased in the bowling alley entrance area, as well as four other victims who had been shot: Yahnirr Brooks, 21; Shamir Jones, 31; Robert Oliver, 26; and Ahmir Simmons, 19. All five victims are related and were at the bowling alley together. At the scene, detectives recovered 15 fired 45-caliber cartridge casings as well as five projectiles—one in the ceiling and four in the floor.


Montgomery County Detectives and East Norriton Police launched a joint homicide investigation. Through video surveillance and witness interviews, the investigation found that three men, one of whom was identified as Barnwell, entered the bowling alley at approximately 6:39 p.m. At 6:42 p.m., a physical altercation involving the victims and the three suspects ensued. Barnwell pulled a firearm with an extended magazine from inside his jacket and begins shooting. Then the three men fled the bowling alley, leaving behind three cell phones, one of which belonged to Barnwell.


“This shooting that left one man dead and another four injured is another act of violence by someone who is not allowed to own or possess a gun,” said Steele. “We are searching for all three men involved and are asking for the public’s help in finding the shooter, Barnwell. If you see him, do not approach him as he is considered armed and dangerous having fled the bowling alley with the gun he used to kill Frank Wade. Call 911 immediately.”

An autopsy on Wade’s body was conducted today by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, which determined that the cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death is homicide.


A warrant was issued today for Barnwell to face charges of First-Degree Murder, Third-Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Possessing an Instrument of Crime and related charges. Detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating Barnwell, who should be considered armed and dangerous. Barnwell is a Black male, 6-feet, 1-inch tall, and weighs approximately 150 pounds.


If anyone has information on Barnwell’s whereabouts or the other two men involved, they are asked to call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau’s Crime Tip Line at 610-278-DOIT (3648). Or submit an anonymous text tip using Montco Crime Tips on the STOPit! app. The STOPit! app can be downloaded for free from the App Store for iPhones or Google Play for Androids, then use code MONTCOPA to get the Montgomery County version of the app.


CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE MERELY ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL AND UNLESS PROVEN GUILTY."


While they would not comment on an existing criminal record, the DA simply said the suspect is not allowed to have a gun, they did have a mug shot of the Barnwell and other pictures of him with his gun they recovered from his cell phone which he left without when fleeing all pictured below.


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