TPD: Suspect in custodyBy Ashley Chaffin | 07/17/2012 10:48am
Tuscaloosa Police have confirmed that a suspect in the Tuscaloosa shootings was in custody as of 11:50 a.m. Tuesday. TPD will update the public again at 1 p.m.
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson said in a press briefing the suspect is described as a white male, 5’7” to 5’9” with a stocky build.
Anderson said 17 people were transported to Druid City Hospital Tuscaloosa as a result of the shootings. Three victims were University of Alabama students who received non life-threatening injuries.
“We’ve been told one individual is in very critical condition and three individuals are in critical condition,” he said.
The Tuscaloosa Police Department released a video and stills of the suspect from the video via their Twitter and Facebook. They have reached out to the federal government to try to get the video enhanced.
At approximately 12:19 a.m., TPD received 911 phone calls concerning an individual shooting at Copper Top. Officers arrived on the scene two minutes after the shootings started.
Anderson said the suspect walked up the hill from 23rd Avenue, walked up to the bar and stood outside the bar canvasing the area for a few minutes before firing.
He then fired into the bar and then moved to another vantage point before firing more shots. TPD believes he fled back down the hill on 23rd Avenue. TPD described the weapon he used as a “military style assault weapon,” but did not know any other details concerning the gun.
“As far as we know he fled in the same direction he came from,” Anderson said. “He was on foot when he walked up to the bar and he walked from the bar as well."
Anderson said they believe there is the possibility an individual person was a target of the shooting.
“The reason we believe that it was not a random act of violence is because when he first got there were people out there on the sidewalk and he stood for several minutes watching and observing before every firing a single shot,” he said.
TPD is looking into a possible connection this shooting had with a shooting that occurred in a residential area of Northport last night, but they have not made a solid connection with this case yet.
As calls come into Crime Stoppers and TPD, Anderson said they are actively following up on any leads that come in or any names possibly connected to the shootings.
“I think the individuals who were there were very blessed that they were not killed and hopefully we can get this individuals off the streets before he hurts someone else,” Anderson said.
Anyone with any information regarding the shooting or the shooter to contact the Tuscaloosa Police Department at 205-349-2121, the Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide Unit at 205-349-0518 or Crime Stoppers at 752-7867.
For anyone who is looking for help coping with the shootings counseling is available through the UA Counseling Center.
More coverage of the Tuesday morning shooting: