While Gulf Shores is known for being a “family-friendly” beach destination for Spring Break, two Spring Break shootings, two years in a row, have some people noticing things aren’t how they used to be.

Bailey Bridges and her family have always visited Gulf Shores for family vacations. This year, for Spring Break, Bridges and her friend came by themselves to enjoy the soft sand and the bright sun of the Gulf Coast beaches. The young women drove 11 hours to Gulf Shores and arrived on Friday.

They didn’t know until after they arrived that a shooting near the intersection of Alabama Highway 59 and Beach Boulevard (Alabama Highway 182) left one person injured and dozens terrified two days before.

“We heard about it from some other people when we got here,” Bridges said. “It just kind of surprised me.”

Witnesses told 1819 News that the scene was frantic and that they saw people running and jumping over walls to get away.

Gulf Shores Police have developed several suspects and have taken one person into custody, but no one has been charged with the shooting.

The victim survived a gunshot wound to the leg and has been released from the hospital.

However, with a crowded area like Gulf Shores, some say it is a miracle no one else was hurt.

“Thank God only one person sustained non-life-threatening injuries,” said Kevin Keane on Facebook. “We had kids who were traumatized and my in-laws are in their eighties.”

Still, the beaches were packed over the weekend as Spring Breakers enjoyed their last few vacation days. Many people were unaware there had ever been a shooting, and when they found out, it didn’t concern them.

“I do think it’s safe here,” Landin West, of Slidell, Louisiana, told 1819 News. “It’s a great place to come with family and have a good time. The shooting doesn’t really affect what I think about the place. I will continue to visit here.”

But Bridges said she would be on the lookout and pay closer attention to her surroundings because she could tell things had changed on the Gulf Coast.

“I mean, it definitely didn’t happen when I came here when I was little,” said Bridges. “So, it’s kind of surprising, but it doesn’t really impact how I feel about coming here.”

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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