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16-Year-Old Wenonah High Student Among Two Killed in Birmingham shooting


The Birmingham Times

A 49-year-old man and a 16-year-old high school student, in a passing car, were killed in a Birmingham shooting Saturday night, according to police.

The dead were identified as Yasmine Wright, 16, a 10th-grader at Wenonah High School and Ed Franklin Harris, 49, both of Birmingham.

Police say inhabitants of a vehicle fired at Harris, who had been riding his motorcycle in the area.

The Birmingham News reports that Wright had gotten off work at the Birmingham Zoo and was being driven home by her mother when shots hit the car. Police are looking for at least two suspects.

Police Sgt. Rod Mauldin said the preliminary investigation indicates Harris turned onto a Birmingham street and laid down the motorcycle. At that point, the suspect or suspects are believed to have gotten out of their vehicle and fired shots at Harris.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Yasmine Wright, a 10th-grade scholar at Wenonah High School who was wounded by stray gunfire as she returned home from work on Saturday,” Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan said in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Yasmine’s family, as well as the students, faculty and staff at Wenonah High. Grief counselors will be on hand at the school on Monday.”

Mayor Randall Woodfin posted a statement on Facebook Sunday afternoon that reads:

“Ms. Janice Wright should be spending this Sunday afternoon with her beloved 16-year-old niece Yasmine. That won’t happen. Yasmine had her life stolen from her last night – an innocent victim killed in a crossfire that also left another man dead.

“I’m heartbroken for Ms. Wright and her family. I’m also angry. I’m angry that yet another young person won’t be able to experience graduation, achieve adulthood, start a family and reach their potential due to the recklessness of others.

“Yasmine should still be with us right here, right now. She was an ambitious young lady in her junior year of high school, an employee of the Birmingham Zoo and a great saxophone player. She would have celebrated her 17th birthday next week.

“Instead, her family is spending their Sunday in mourning. It is not right. It is not fair. It is not normal.”

“I’m making this appeal to you today as a mayor, as a resident of this city and as a man who loves his own nieces very much: If you have any information about the shooting at 1600 Matt Leonard Drive SW, leave an anonymous tip at Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777. Birmingham police are on the case but every bit of help is need.”

“Ms. Wright had to witness her own niece take her last breaths,’’ Woodfin said. “She and her family deserve justice for this horrible tragedy. Please, help us give it to her.”

The zoo, where Yasmine worked, also released a statement that says:

“The Birmingham Zoo family is deeply saddened to learn that one of its own, Yasmine Wright, was the victim of a random yet senseless act of violence. Yasmine and her family have been part of our team for several years, working as part of the SSA operations of the Zoo. Yasmine was a beloved member of our team, and we are sending our sincerest condolences to her family and friends. We wish them continued support during this difficult time.”

Anyone with information relating to the case, can contact the B.P.D. Homicide Unit at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

Associated Press contributed to this report.