HALEYVILLE - A shooting in the 1800 block of 14th Avenue in Haleyville Thursday afternoon, June 17, left two injured, as well as numerous rumors and hearsay that have been silenced by the Haleyville Police Department.
Injured in the shooting were two Haleyville men in their early to mid-twenties, noted Lt. Eddie Collins, investigator with the Haleyville Police Department. The two injured men were airlifted in separate medical helicopters from Lakeland Community Hospital in Haleyville - where they had been transported by private vehicle after the shooting for further treatment at UAB Hospital, Collins said.
According to witnesses, a physical altercation erupted between two females at the 14th Avenueresidence after one of the females had come to the residence along with a female and male, police said.
When the two females got into a physical altercation, one male subject was attempting to break them up, when the male in the vehicle that had come to the residence got out and produced a nine-millimeter handgun, according to Collins.
The male producing the handgun reportedly shot the other male, police said.
“It appeared (the bullet) entered his left arm and entered the torso on the left side,” said Collins. “That male made his way to the porch and retrieved a 22-caliber handgun and shot the other male once in the mouth and once in the chest.”
Both persons who were shot were transported from the scene in two separate private vehicles to Lakeland Hospital, police noted.
Haleyville Police had received a call of a shooting in the 1800 block of 14th Avenue, with the caller advising the shooter was still on the scene, Collins stated.
When police arrived on the scene, no one was at the residence, so contact was made with the homeowner, who stated she was at the hospital, according to Collins.
When asked where the person was who did the shooting, the homeowner advised at the hospital, Collins said. This is what led to rumors of an active shooter situation at the hospital, which was quickly refuted.
“There was not an active shooter,” confirmed Lakeland CEO Ashley Pool.
Police immediately responded to the hospital based on the information given them by the homeowner, Collins stated.
“It was unknown to us at the time that the shooter was wounded, as well,” he said. “All we knew was the shooter was at the hospital.
“We responded to the hospital in the manner we would (if there was) an armed, hostile suspect,” he added. “Only after arriving at the hospital did we find the shooter injured and not at threat.”
When police arrived at Lakeland, the homeowner was outside the entrance to the emergency room. She advised that both parties were in the ER, Collins explained.
When police entered the ER, they learned that both injured men were being stabilized, police said.
“At that point, there was no immediate threat,” Collins confirmed.
Collins contacted Rusty Hulsey, investigator with the 25th Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s Office to bring the mobile crime response unit to the residence on 14th Avenue where the shooting had occurred.
Andy Jones and Celia Mothershed from the DA’s office along with Marion-Winston DA Scott Slatton also arrived to assist at the scene, police noted.
All witnesses were gathered and brought to the police department, where the DA’s office assisted police in taking statements, Collins stated.
Haleyville officers were also assisted by the Winston County Sheriff’s Office at the crime scene until Hulsey arrived, according to Collins.
“It is still a pending investigation. We have not filed charges on anyone at this time,” Collins stated Monday morning, June 21.
Mayor Ken Sunseri has sent out a strong message that the violence must stop, and that rumors and false information that circulate through the area after incidents should be addressed.
“We offer our condolences and sympathy to the families involved,” Sunseri said. “It’s a tragic situation. We’ve got to stop the violence.
“This is a problem that’s going on throughout the United States,” Sunseri said. “People have got to learn to talk to each other. We need to bring love and God’s word into our society and get away from these acts of violence.”
The 14th Avenue shooting is alarming for the City of Haleyville because it occurred nearly in the center of the city, in a busy neighborhood.
“Our officers respond immediately. We take all the precautions, and we notify the district attorney’s office. His investigation crew comes in, and there’s a procedure we have to go through.”
Sunseri addressed the rumors that start after such situations.
“People go on Facebook and make comments that are either their inventions or half-truths,” Sunseri emphasized. “That creates a panic with people. People need to realize, we are going to be in control of these situations.”
Collins thanked the Winston County Sheriff’s Office and Double Springs Police for responding, as well as the district attorney’s office for helping at the crime scene and with witness statements.
“They did a phenomenal job,” said Collins.
As of press time, both injured persons were in stable condition, according to law enforcement officials.
Winston County Sheriff Horace Moore thanked all of the officers who responded after Haleyville Police had requested back up.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.