Investigators with the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit worked throughout the weekend into Monday as police piece together what led to a shooting in Tuscaloosa’s West End Saturday night that left one man dead and two others injured.
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As Patch reported Monday morning, authorities identified the man killed as Charlie Lee Thomas, 29. Captain Jack Kennedy, the commander of the multi-agency unit, said Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene in the 3500 block of 21st Street after officers with the Tuscaloosa Police Department responded to the initial call of the shooting at approximately 10 p.m.
The murder is the ninth for Tuscaloosa County this year and no arrests have been made in the active case.
In an update for local media later in the day, Kennedy said the victims — all in their 20s — were in the front yard of a residence they were supposed to be at. The group was reportedly standing outside discussing plans for later in the night.
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“They did not engage in any shooting,” Kennedy said. “They were minding their own business. We’ve not established any reason at this point to lead us to believe they initiated, escalated or anything of that matter.”
Thankfully, the two others injured in the shooting are expected to recover, with one currently hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Kennedy also expressed his confidence that there are individuals in the community who have information regarding the shooting. But, as in other cases like the last shooting on March 28, he said there is a reticence among members of the community in coming forward to the police.
“It happened in just a matter of seconds and unfortunately, a gentleman was deceased on the scene and the rest of them were fleeing for their lies from the chaos,” he said. “They were there discussing whether or not they were going to go out and do anything on a weekend night.”
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley addressed the uptick in gun violence, explaining that it is a problem that faced by communities across the country.
“I think it’s the culture, especially with our young people it’s shifted,” he said. “People used to have a fist fight, now they just shoot each other … Until as a culture and and community we change, and we change especially our young people, I don’t know if this is going to go away.”
Indeed, addressing gun violence affecting teenagers in Tuscaloosa has been a central issue for Blankley and his department, as the shootings are occurring with alarming frequency and impacting some of the most vulnerable members of the community.