Two family members of the man charged in a Saturday shooting at the Point Mallard Aquatic Center said he didn't fire the gunshot that police say fragmented and injured two minors.
“He didn’t do it," the younger sister of Kaleb D’Vante Lane Jones said Wednesday.
“He told me he didn’t do it,” said Andria Jones, who was not at the park when the shooting occurred. “He has his own little brothers and sisters. He wouldn’t do anything like that.”
A man who identified himself as the Joneses' grandfather also said Kaleb Jones did not fire the gunshot. The man refused to provide his name.
Kaleb Jones, 18, of 1702 Dianne St. S.W., Decatur, turned himself in to Decatur police on Monday afternoon. He is charged with two felony counts of second-degree assault. He was released from Morgan County Jail about 9 p.m. Tuesday on $60,000 bond posted by Pronto Bail Bonding Co. of Decatur, according to Morgan County sheriff's spokesman Mike Swafford.
Police Sgt. Michael Burleson said in an affidavit to obtain an arrest warrant that the shooting occurred Saturday night when “two groups of individuals were standing in the carpeted area of the wave pool. … A verbal altercation began, and during that altercation Kaleb Jones produced a handgun and fired a round. The round appeared to have fragmented and struck two individuals."
Police spokeswoman Emily Long said the two minors injured by the bullet were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from nearby medical facilities.
Parks and Recreation Director Jason Lake said Wednesday that the water park has not implemented any new security measures since the shooting. “We’re in the process of evaluating that right now,” he said.
City officials have said Decatur police have increased their presence in the park since the Saturday night incident.
Andria Jones said her brother was only "running trying to get away from the shooter.”
“I guess people are scared to tell police who the shooter was,” she said. “(Kaleb) is easily scared. He wouldn’t do that. He did not shoot anybody.”
She said her brother was at the water park with a cousin and friend.
“They were running from the shooter, too,” she said.
She said that on Sunday, her brother saw his picture and name on the news and that prompted him to turn himself in the next day. “It was posted on Facebook and people were bashing his name and posting bad comments.”
Andria Jones said her brother graduated from Austin High last month.
The shooting occurred at 9:08 p.m. Saturday, near the conclusion of a “Splash into Summer” event that began at 6:30 p.m. and lasted until 9:30 p.m. The event featured reduced $5 admission, fireworks and music. The park usually closes at 6 p.m.
Lake has said there were 5,269 people counted entering the water park prior to the incident. He said seven police officers were inside the park.
A woman who was at the park Saturday night with her daughter and granddaughters said earlier this week that patrons panicked after the shooting and ran into each other in their rush to flee.
Lake disputed the characterization earlier this week and said many people stayed to watch the fireworks.