A weekend party ended with gunshots. A 19-year-old remains in a Little Rock hospital, listed in serious condition.
Police were called to the Morris R. Moore Armory in Dardanelle Saturday morning around 2:00 a.m. to check out reports of gun fire. They found a young man down.
“I didn’t know until I was walking to the car,” said Joseph Means, an Arkansas Tech freshman from Memphis. "There were a bunch of folks crowded around on the ground saying, 'he got shot.' I said, 'For real?’."
Yell County Sheriff Bill Gilkey said the young man was shot twice in the back, and another man took a bullet to the wrist.
“They say that it's customary for these parties, that the signal for the end of the party is two gun shots,” said Sheriff Gilkey.
He said Saturday's party may have exceeded two shots; he says investigators found 24 9mm shell casings at the scene.
“It's no big deal," Means said. "I've heard gunshots before. I know bullets don’t have names, so I’m not going to run out there in the street and try to do something. But I wasn’t scared or anything.”
Means, a member of the Arkansas Tech Wonderboy Football Team, says teammates organized the party.
Arkansas Tech senior Chris McKee says skirmishes at college parties are nothing new to him, but Friday night's became something more. “I think a lot of what caused it were steroids, alcohol and half-naked women. I don't know the people, but I'd say that had a lot to do with it,” said McKee.
“I guess nobody was intending for him to get shot…it was just like someone didn't know what they were doing,” said Means.
Sheriff Gilkey says investigators are looking into several suspects but are continuing to piece together what happened that night. Arkansas Tech administrators say they are cooperating with police.
No word on whether the Morris R. Moore Armory intends to continue renting out the facility for parties.