Three people were shot during an attempted robbery inside an Ensley lounge Wednesday, Birmingham Police said.
Initially, police reported four people were shot. However, authorities later revised that figure down to three.
Two of the victims were expected to survive. The third victim, however, was being treated for life-threatening injuries. The alleged gunman was in police custody within moments of the gunfire.
The shots broke out just before noon inside Wallace's Lounge along the 300-block of 19th Street Ensley.
A long-time customer said that while the establishment was called a lounge, it served as a restaurant during the day. People often gather at lunch for burgers, fish, fries, and more, he said.
The customer, Jeff Jones, said the owner of the lounge was among those who were shot. The owner, Jones said, was expected to survive.
Jones said he was walking to the lounge to get a cheeseburger when he saw police surrounding the building. He spoke with the lounge's owner before she was taken away by paramedics.
"She just told me she'd been robbed by the young dude, and she's going to be okay," Jones said.
Witnesses said the gunman had told people in the lounge to get on the floor. The man was apparently taking people's watches and other personal belongings. It was unclear what led the suspect to apparently start firing his weapon.
"These young guys, they need to wake up," Jones said. "They need to wake up because it's not what's going on. You know, just taking people's lives and coming and taking people's stuff that they work hard for. It's time for it to stop."
Jones spoke as other long-time patrons gathered around the business, concerned about its owner. She has operated the business for more than 36 years, they said, and they were relieved to hear she would recover.
Customers identified the owner as Evangeline "Tisie" Wallace. People stopped by the lounge for hours after the shooting asking how she was doing and becoming relieved when they heard from others that she would be fine.
The suspect in this case did not get far. In fact, he didn't even get out of the lounge itself before he was in custody, police said.
"We did have members of our Crime Reduction Team in the area," Sergeant Johnny Williams said. "They heard the shots being fired, actually arrived at the business, and went inside and apprehended the suspect on the scene."
The suspect was being questioned by authorities at the police department's headquarters Wednesday afternoon. His name has not been released pending the completion of the warrant procedure. Formal warrants should be in place Thursday, Williams said.
Williams confirmed a Budweiser delivery driver was among those who were shot. A witness told ABC 33/40 the driver was alert on the scene, and it appeared his injuries were not life-threatening.
The identity of the third shooting victim was not released.
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