What was supposed to be a Sweet 16 birthday party Saturday night turned into a nightmare when three teenagers were shot in a parking lot outside of the party.
According to a police news release and the party’s organizer, there was a fight and shots fired in the parking lot of 3670 Eisenhower Parkway at 11:20 p.m.
Police said the victims included a 16-year-old male juvenile, who was shot in the head; Kyrod Butts, 19, who was shot in his side and in the back of the leg; and Devin Williams, 18, who was shot in his ankle. All three were taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia, where they remain.
The release said the juvenile is listed in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery. The other two victims sustained injuries that weren’t life-threatening.
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Kecia Mallard, who threw the party for her son’s 16th birthday, said she didn’t know the victims.
Mallard said the party was going well until some teenagers who weren’t invited tried to force their way into the party. An off-duty police officer who was working security kept them outside.
“There were several kids who tried to enter, but were denied access because of their attitudes, their dress, their whole persona,” she said. “The officer asked them to leave. A couple of minutes later, there was an altercation when they tried to bum-rush the door. That’s when we shut the party down.”
Mallard said she and others at the party shut the doors and kept the party guests inside while they waited for the crowd outside to disperse. When they thought it was safe, they opened the doors to send the kids home, but the party crashers returned and started to harrass the guests. Soon after that, there was gunfire, she said.
“It was total chaos within minutes,” she said.
Mallard said the whole situation is frustrating and upsetting. She said youth in Macon don’t have that many opportunities for fun, and often when there is an event, it is ruined by troublemakers.
“It’s very frustrating and sad,” she said. As a parent, you try to give your kids nice things. This is something I wanted to do for (my son). ... There’s a limit already to what (kids have) here in Macon -- zero to none. Kids come in and are enjoying the evening and then you have these chaotic kids. It’s very frustrating. My heart goes out to the parents whose kids were shot.”
Mallard said she had the idea for the party from other parties her son attended during the summer, but some of those were disrupted by uninvited guests as well.
After Saturday’s incident, she won’t allow him to go to another party because she’s concerned for his safety.
“Kids feel like this is acceptable behavior, and it’s not acceptable,” she said. “But there’s only so much we can do as a people.”
The release described the suspect as a black male with dreadlocks, wearing a white T-shirt, tan shorts and wielding a handgun.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Macon police at 751-7500 or Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68-CRIME.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.