Our Town Alley has released a statement on the shooting that took place at the bowling alley in East Norriton just before 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 20th. Police are currently seeking the location of 17-year-old Jamel Barnwell of Upper Darby who is believed to have been the shooter. Four people were injured, including 29-year-old Frank Wade of Philadelphia who passed away at the scene.
Below is the statement from Our Town Alley:
Our Town Alley management and staff are devastated by the violence that occurred at our establishment Saturday evening, February 20, 2021. Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and our entire community, which has been rattled by this unusual incident.
Going back to its days as Facenda Whitaker Lanes, Our Town Alley has always been a safe place where families come to enjoy themselves, a place for friends and camaraderie. As East Norriton Township Chief of Police Brandon Pasquale told news outlets, this incident is an anomaly, an uncommon occurrence in our neighborhood. It follows a year that has been tough on our business, our patrons, and our community because of the pandemic.
Just as we have been recovering from this difficult past year, we will also recover from this event. We affirm our mission to maintain a family-friendly, fun entertainment center. We are committed to working with authorities, security experts, and community leaders to make sure nothing like this happens again at our establishment.
A few bits of history about and details about future plans for Our Town Alley:
- The facility opened in 1959 as Facenda Whitaker Lanes, named after two of Philadelphia’s famous news and sports reporters, John Facenda and Jack Whitaker
- By the 1980s, the bowling alley had grown to 50 lanes and Steppy’s Sports Bar & Grill had been added.
- In 2020, the bowling alley was rebranded as Our Town Alley. The game area was upgraded and laser tag, and a club box suite were added
- Plans are underway to renovate Steppy’s and rename it 2912 Eatery and Bar.