JCSO Detective: ‘A major relief’ after capturing suspect in Vestavia Hills church shooting

Detective breaks down church shooting case
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 10:46 PM CST
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VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WBRC) - A major relief, that’s how the lead detective described getting justice for a missionary who was shot will playing basketball in Vestavia Hills.

“I had to find a way to get these people,” Det. Ashondra Jackson with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.

With only a vague description of a suspect Detective Ashondra Jackson, a 15 year veteran with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, led the investigation into the shooting of 18-year-old Elder Michael Fauber.

Fauber, a missionary from Dayton, Ohio was shot 4 times while playing basketball at the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Vestavia Hills.

“Black male, very tall, around 6′7, very skinny, light complexion. That’s all we had,” she recalled. Jackson with the help of witnesses and several agencies, including the U.S. Marshal’s Service said it was like finding a needle in a haystack but they used every tool they could to find Fauber’s shooter. “With associations and using resources, electronic resources and our contacts, we were able to hone in on our shooter,” Jackson explained.

18-year-old Courtney Lee Knight is charged with attempted murder. His cousin, 22-year-old Cornelius Omar James Knight was also arrested; Jackson said for being uncooperative and hindering the investigation.

Jackson said she had the opportunity to call Fauber’s family and tell them that a suspect had been arrested. She was proud of the community for speaking up and getting the Fauber family justice.

“Getting Courtney Knight in custody, that was a huge win,” Jackson said.

As for a motive, Jackson said Courtney Knight had not given a reason for why the shooting happened.


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