BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Police are investigating a double homicide in southwest Birmingham after a man and a woman were found shot to death in a car in a park.
The victims have been identified as Shundria Latrice Peoples, 26, of Birmingham and 34-year-old Kenneth Leon Davidson of Bessemer, according to the coroner's office.
Their bodies were found in a car that was still running at Woodland Park in the 1300 block of McMillon Avenue Southwest.
The victims were socializing in the car when someone shot them multiple times, Birmingham police Lt. Sean Edwards said. The two were not married.
The victims were sitting in the front seat and each had gunshot wounds to the chest, Edwards said. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Lt. Edwards said they believe the couple was ambushed.
"It appears to be that it was maybe more sudden or the individuals may have been surprised or something like that," Edwards said.
West Precinct officers responded to a report of shots fired in the park around 3:30 am. Friday. When they got there, they saw a 2003 Ford Taurus parked but still running.
Police say nothing was taken from the couple and nothing was taken from the car. Police aren't sure at this time if it was a random shooting or if the victims were targeted.
Birmingham police say the area is a pretty quiet neighborhood that doesn't see this level of violence often.
Just down the street from the park is the West End Community Garden where vegetable and fruits are grown.
Denzel Stevenson has worked there for two years and says to hear of this type of violence happening so close is concerning, especially when groups like the garden are trying to bring life to the area.
"It's actually been pretty quiet around here. So I actually really am surprised. The stigma of violence in West End has actually been decreasing. But for that to escalate like that is pretty crazy to me," Stevenson said.
"It's honestly a real tragedy to hear that it happened. And the fact that it happened so close. I pray for that family and I hope whoever did it gets caught," Stevenson added.
The shootings happened in Councilor Sheila Tyson's district. She is concerned to hear about these shootings, especially in a neighborhood she's been working hard to change.
She says the city just recently painted all of the fencing at the park's ball fields and put in new lights all around it.
She says abandoned homes are being purchased and rehabbed and a nearby burned out apartment will soon become a jobs training facility.
Those who live in the area agree with her that changes need to come, and soon.
"We are trying to organize this community to be a better community and for people to come over and shoot somebody, hurt somebody, sell drugs or anything in this neighborhood," resident Victor Dickerson said.
"We're trying to make the whole Birmingham area aware of what's going on and try to make it a better place to live and something like this is just a big tragedy," Dickerson added.
Birmingham police say this homicide investigation is ongoing and they'll release more information as it becomes available.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the BPD Homicide Unit at 205-254-1764.