(Reuters) - Three Alabama university students were among seven people shot, several critically injured, early on Saturday morning at a raucous spring break party in Panama City Beach, Florida, and the suspected shooter was taken into custody, local police said.
Shortly before 1 a.m., officers were called to a building near the beach, where they found the victims, three of whom are students at Alabama A&M University, the Bay County Sheriff's office said in an electronic statement.
The suspected shooter, 22-year old David Jamichael Daniels of Mobile, Alabama, was found nearby and taken into custody. He was charged with seven counts of attempted murder, police said.
The Florida Panhandle city has been struggling with out-of-control, around-the-clock parties attended by the hundreds of thousands of college students who pack into the area in March and April during spring break.
Police described a "chaotic scene" with victims found in and around the home. A .40-caliber handgun was found in the backyard of the residence. Police said the shooting was the sixth firearm related call of the evening.
Alabama A&M University Lieutenant William Schumake, citing a Bay County investigator, said the students were "innocent victims in the wrong place when an altercation broke out resulting in shots being fired."
The school named the victims being treated at an area hospital as students Kearria Freed, 20, who was in critical condition; Kelli Regina Curry, 20, in stable condition; and Annesia Powell, 19, who was undergoing surgery.
The suspected shooter is not an AAMU student, the school said.
Also injured and being treated were Devanta Moore, 21, Jacole Young, 22, Tykeria Ethridge, 22, and Henton Franklin, 22, police said. Moore and Franklin were listed in critical condition.
"I was shot several times including in the neck - I just knew I was dead," Ethridge appeared to write on a Facebook page that also had a photo of her in a hospital room. "I'm cryin right now, the fact I'm stuck w(ith) these bullets, man life too short."
(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Marguerita Choy)