Teen Ordered to Trial in Fatal Philadelphia Bowling Alley Shooting

March 11, 2021

A 17-year-old youth has been ordered to stand trial in a bowling alley shooting near Philadelphia last month that left one person dead and four others hospitalized.

A Montgomery County district court judge ordered Jamel Barnwell of East Lansdowne to trial in county court Monday on first- and third-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangering and weapons charges.

Authorities said that he and two other males entered Our Town Alley, formerly Facenda Whitaker Lanes, at about 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 in East Norriton, which is about 23 miles northwest of Philadelphia. They allege that the three got into a physical altercation with another group, and the teen pulled a gun and opened fire.

Prosecutors said Frank Wade, 29, of Philadelphia was found dead in the entrance to the bowling alley. Four relatives of his – ages 19, 21, 26 and 31 – were found wounded. All were hospitalized but expected to recover from their wounds.

There were about 50 to 75 people in the bowling alley at the time of the shooting, including several young children, authorities said.

Deputy District Attorney Samantha Cauffman argued that the teen was prepared to use the illegal gun he took to the bowling alley. And when he saw one victim fall to the ground, wounded, he continued to pull the trigger until the handgun’s magazine was empty and his target was dead, Cauffman said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Defense attorney Carrie Allman called her client’s actions self-defense, saying he was outnumbered and was thinking only of protecting himself.

“What we saw was an altercation between two groups of people,” Allman said. “That is not first-degree murder.”

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