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Girl Shot in Head After Prom Party; Suspect Captured


ANAHEIM — A 19-year-old man was arrested Saturday after he allegedly shot and critically wounded a female high school student attending an all-night prom party in a hotel, Anaheim police said.

Paul Michael Crowder was arrested at his La Crescenta residence several hours after he allegedly entered the hotel room of a 17-year-old La Crescenta High School student, pointed a gun at her and shot her in the head, Sgt. Jerry King said.

At least five witnesses told police they saw the suspect enter the hotel room where the girl was staying and shoot her with a handgun, King said.

The victim had been with a group of about 14 other people who had rented three rooms at the Crown Sterling Suites in the 3100 block of East Frontera Street after a school prom celebration, King said.

Crowder and the victim were part of a student group that originally attended a prom party at Universal Studios in Los Angeles County on Friday night, according to authorities.

About 20 people who had attended the prom then drove to the hotel in Anaheim, where they rented three rooms and celebrated well into Saturday morning.

King said that Crowder, although older, "had been partying" throughout the night with the group of revelers. But about 6 a.m. he entered the victim's room and shot her, police said witnesses reported.

When police entered the room, they found the victim lying on a bed in the room, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, King said.

Paramedics immediately began treatment and the victim was then taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she was in critical condition late Saturday, King said.

A motive for the shooting has not been determined, he said.

Police were not releasing the victim's name because she is a minor, King said.

The night manager for the hotel declined to comment on the incident Saturday.

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