Gunshots interrupt crime scene press briefing

Veteran enforcement officer and former U.S. State Attorney react to the video
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 9:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you live on Robert Jemison Road, you may have been woken up last night by what cops are calling a “massive” number of rounds fired.

One now dead, another in the hospital after the shooting at Adona Apartment Complex. The gunshots didn’t stop once cops arrived.

Our team captured the disturbing moments on camera Tuesday night.

It all began when Public information Officer Truman Fitzgerald was about to address the media regarding the city’s latest homicide investigation. That is when several shots rang out.

He then asks those present if they are OK. Everyone nods and just as he begins to speak, more shots are heard.

Thirty year law enforcement veteran Ken Atkinson took a look at the video for us to provide his thoughts.

“I mean it is truly alarming,” said Atkinson.

He spent time as the Irondale Police Chief and worked inside Birmingham’s West Precinct for years. Now he is out of law enforcement, but still doing what he can to help keep communities safe.

He is now the Program Coordinator for Metro Crime Stoppers of Alabama. He says police are unfortunately used to hearing the sound of gunfire while out at crime scenes, but the fact that the public has grown numb to the sounds is what concerns him most.

“It is extremely unfortunate that we have reached a point to where we are not near as alarmed when we hear gunshots go off as we once were,” said Atkinson.

Former U.S. State Attorney Jay Towns believes the video should serve as a reminder.

“That video showcases how dangerous it is to be a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama, or really anywhere in the United States,” said Towns.

No injuries were reported from the shots fired during that press briefing, a family is still grieving.

“As a result of this, there is a 19-year-old young man who is deceased now. Who has a mother now without a son. A father without a son. Possibly brothers and sisters. I mean we as a community have to say enough is enough and decide to try and step up and put an end to this,” said Atkinson.

The Crime Stoppers team is taking calls on the case and they are imploring any with information to come forward. They just gave us a behind the scenes glimpse into their fully anonymous tip process, and stress your identity will never be asked for.


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