BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - We’re hearing for the first time from the man who owns the restaurant right next door to where police believe two motel owners were killed.
U.S. Marshals arrested the suspect Steven Richard Mulkey, 27, late Monday.
Sammy Derzis owns Golden Rule Bar-B-Q, which is just several steps from the Siesta Motel in Irondale.
He said the motel’s owners were just trying to help Mulkey, and were taken advantage of.
The news of two possible murders next door is weighing heavy on the Irondale business owner.
“I was shocked," he said. "I was disturbed.”
Irondale Police said surveillance cameras captured Mulkey assaulting the owners of the motel on Crestwood Boulevard on September 16th.
Mulkey was a maintenance worker for the motel.
“This isn’t the first man that they’ve helped,” said Derzis. “This is just the first one that was a true psycho.”
Derzis said while he doesn’t remember meeting Mulkey, he said he knew the couple to be kind and quiet.
“They helped people,” he said. “People that were down on their luck, or traveling through, they would give them a room with the stipulation that you would help clean up around the grounds or whatever.”
And when news broke that U.S. Marshals found Mulkey in Virginia Monday afternoon, Derzis was grateful.
“Relieved there’s some closure,” he said. “We know that they’ve got him. And there’s a special place in hell for him.”
He said as a business owner, he’s proud of how quickly law enforcement worked to find him.
“All you punks out there need to know, if you think you can beat the law, you’re wrong,” said Derzis. “These guys prove it. Day in and day out.”
Police said the couple, 77-year-old Ching Kao and his wife 76-year-old Siuhmei, are still missing.
Irondale police told us they have a capital murder warrant for Mulkey’s arrest.
Police left for Virginia Monday to speak with Mulkey.
We’re waiting to hear about extradition.