PA Teen Jamel Barnwell ID’d As Suspect In Saturday Night Fatal Mass Bowling Alley Shooting

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA. (THECOUNT) — Jamel Barnwell of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, has been identified as the suspect wanted in the shooting of five people Saturday night at Our Town Alley, in East Norriton Township.

Barnwell, 17, is the subject of a manhunt after authorities say he shot five people, killing 29-year-old Frank Wade of Philadelphia, inside the East Norriton Township bowling alley Saturday night.


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Authorities said Barnwell fatally shot Wade of Philadelphia and wounded four others in the incident. An arrest warrant has been issued for the teen, who is facing a first-degree murder charge.

“He can’t have a gun and he did. You’ve seen it in the pictures,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said during a video news conference Sunday. “We saw it in the surveillance video last night. This is an ongoing problem. This is the mechanism of death. Far too many weapons out there right now.”

Authorities said surveillance video shows Barnwell and three other people entering the bowling alley at 6:39 p.m. on Saturday and two minutes later, the suspect is seen handing his cellphone to one of the other men with who he entered the establishment, reports CBSPhilly.

According to the DA, a physical altercation began between Barnwell, Wade and others at 6:42 p.m. That’s when, authorities said, Barnwell pulled a gun and fired 15 shots, striking Wade and five other people. All of the victims are related, according to Steele.

Barnwell also shot Wade while he was already on the ground, Steele said.

An autopsy revealed that Wade died from gunshot wounds. His death has been ruled a homicide.

The four other gunshot victims — ages between 18 and 31 — are recovering from their injuries, authorities said.

It’s unclear at this point of the investigation if Barnwell and Wade have had previous altercations.

Barnwell’s cellphone was left at the scene. Inside the phone, there were photos of him.

“The weapon used in the shooting was a 45 caliber with an extended mag,” Steele said. “Photos show him holding a similar weapon.”

Our Town Alley is a popular spot for families close to the East Norriton area. Officials said there were between 50 to 75 people inside the bowling alley at the time of the shooting.

Authorities said the suspect and victims were not residents of the area. The victims are from Philadelphia and the last known residence of Barnwell is in Upper Darby, Steele said.

“None of these folks are local to this establishment,” Steele said. “What I will say too, I hope that people at some point get the message not to commit murders in Montgomery County because we solve our murders, and we’re going to hold people accountable for their actions and things that they do here.”

Police are also searching for the two people who were with Barnwell. Barnwell is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911, or 610-278-3648.


Geo quick facts: Montgomery County is the third-most populous county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the 73rd-most populous in the United States. As of 2019, the census-estimated population of the county was 830,915, representing a 3.9% increase from the 799,884 residents enumerated in the 2010 census – Wikipedia.

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