Decatur police arrest suspect in Point Mallard shooting

The shooting suspect has been arrested, but the incident has city officials working to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

Posted: Jun 3, 2019 3:59 PM
Updated: Jun 3, 2019 6:24 PM

The Decatur Police Department says a suspect, 18-year-old Caleb Long from Decatur, has been booked into the Morgan County Jail after a shooting Saturday night at Point Mallard Water Park. 

Decatur police say Long, whose legal name is Caleb Jones, is responsible for injuring two people in the shooting at the water park. He was arrested for two warrants for assault in the second degree. His bond is set at $60,000. 

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office says Long surrendered to deputies at the county jail around 3 p.m. Monday. 

According to police, the shooting happened around 9:08 p.m. Saturday near the wave pool at Point Mallard Water Park. The park was hosting a family-friendly night swim event at the time.

Now, officials say safety measures at Point Mallard Park could increase in the near future.

“Nobody wants this. Nobody ever wants to be in this situation," Director of Parks and Recreation, Jason Lake, said. "I hoped that, not just for Point Mallard, but anybody we care about was never faced with something like this. But we are. And what we have to do is we have to act responsibly.”

Point Mallard Park, the City of Decatur and Decatur police are working together to come up with a solution.

“Fun place to take the kids," Ruth Rogers said. "Somewhere safe to play in the water.”

That’s how Ruth Rogers said she used to describe Point Mallard's water park to friends who had never been there; but she told WAAY 31 that changed after Saturday night’s incident.

“Too close to home," Rogers said. "I don’t personally want to go. I don’t want my children there or my grand kids.”

In fact, Rogers’ daughter was at Point Mallard when the shooting happened, but she’s okay. 

Usually, there are two or three officers at the park on a daily basis. Now, you can expect to see six or seven.

“Do we start doing bag checks? Do we do clear bags and those types of things? Until that’s decided, DPD is going to have an increased presence at the park," Lake said.

Point Mallard Park has been open since 1969 and Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling told WAAY 31 this is the first time there’s ever been a shooting.

Because it is a family park, Bowling said he’d like to get some help from the state legislature to keep things like this from happening again.

“We can’t, by state law, put a sign on the front of the facility that says ‘No weapons allowed,’” Bowling said.

Ruth Rogers says she would feel more at ease if there was a "No weapons allowed" sign and a clear bag policy at the park.

“I think it would be a good idea," Rogers said. "Sometimes, taking that extra measure saves lives and saves our children.”

Point Mallard officials are working closely with the Decatur Police Department to determine what the next steps will be. They’re also taking recommendations from the public. They said they hope to have new security measures in place as soon as possible.

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