Mobile County schools will no longer play football games at Ladd-Peebles Stadium after a shooting there eight days ago, the spokeswoman for the system told AL.com today.
“Mobile County Public Schools is investigating all of the details of last week’s shooting at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and are willing to make whatever changes are necessary to improve our security plans,” Communications Director Rena Philips said in an email. “The first big change we are making is that we will no longer play football at Ladd, nor hold our graduation ceremonies there.”
The shooting happened at a game between Vigor and Williamson high schools on Oct. 15. Shots were fired on the stadium’s west concourse during the third quarter. Police said a group of people left the stadium and re-entered with guns. One opened fire injuring five people, one critically. Two people have been arrested and police are seeking the alleged gunman, 19-year-old Hezekiah Kaniel Belfon.
The school system and the stadium management have differed on who is responsible for the failure to keep the stadium safe.
Ladd-Peebles shooting: Stadium, schools dispute security responsibility
Philips said Mobile schools had already moved games that were scheduled for Thursday and Friday this week, as well as for games next Thursday and Friday and for playoff games.
In 2019, nine people were injured by gunfire at a LeFlore-Williamson game at Ladd-Peebles.
In May, the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners unanimously approved the hiring of an architect to design five new on-campus high school football stadiums at Vigor, Davidson, LeFlore, Williamson and B.C. Rain high schools.
Mary G. Montgomery, Baker, Alma Bryant, Theodore, Blount and Citronelle already have on-campus stadiums.
That will leave only Murphy without its own stadium. The Panthers are landlocked in a residential neighborhood.