Police: Mother fires shots into skating rink crowd, hits 2 teens

Two teenagers shot outside Crystal Palace

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Police arrested a 29-year-old woman in connection with the shooting of two teens in The Crystal Palace Skating Center's parking lot at midnight on Sunday.

Investigators say April Rawls fired shots into a crowd after learning one of her daughters got into a fight. A 34-year-old man and four kids between the ages of 10 and 14 were also in the car with Rawls as she fired the shots.

The 17-year-old girl that Rawls' daughter fought with and a 15-year-old boy were taken to the hospital.

"I think that's just a poor judgment call coming from the parent. Why are you bringing a gun around children," said Michael Wilson. "No, that was a poor choice of judgement coming from the mother."

Rawls remained in jail Sunday night on $100,000 bond. She is charged with two counts of aggravated assault.

Landius Matthews, General Manager of The Crystal Palace, says that the skating center should not be blamed for Rawls' alleged actions.  He says the shots were fired more than 50 feet from the business's front door an hour after the rink closed.

Still, some parents question whether the skating center should be shut down by the district attorney's office as a nuisance.

"Some parents are saying this place is a nuisance and it needs to be closed," said Matthews. "My reaction is that those parents need to come down and visit Crystal Palace for themselves."

However, Matthews is taking steps to ensure that The Crystal Palace is a safe environment for teenagers.  He's changing the closing time from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. and is renaming Saturday night 'family night.'

On Saturdays, children must be accompanied by an adult.  Parents who are with their children will get free admission.

Matthews also plans to increase security to discourage future incidents.

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