Teen who shot, killed one, injured three others at bowling alley arrested


EAST NORRITON, PA – The 17-year-old who shot and killed one person and injured three others at an East Norriton bowling alley has turned himself in and processed police here say.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele announces the arrest and arraignment of Jamel Barnwell, 17, of Upper Darby, on First-Degree Murder and related charges. At approximately midnight last night, Barnwell turned himself into police.

“This violent 17-year-old is now safely behind bars,” said Steele. “I want to thank the media and the public for getting the word out about the defendant being sought on murder charges in this shooting and murder at Our Town Alley bowling lanes. It helped in getting him in custody.”

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.

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Barnwell was arrested and charged with First-Degree Murder, Third-Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Reckless Endangerment, Possessing an Instrument of Crime and related charges. He was video arraigned this morning before Magisterial District Judge Marc A. Alfarano. There is no bail available for First-Degree Murder, and the defendant was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on March 8, 2021 before Judge Alfarano.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

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