Chief Roper reacts to explosion of violence in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – In less than two weeks, Birmingham police have worked 8 shootings…seven people have been killed. Over the last three days multiple people have been killed in separate violent incidents in the Birmingham area. The recent violence is taking its toll on the victims’ loved ones and the broader community.  It’s also weighing hard on investigators.

Saturday afternoon- Cotton Avenue- 26 year old Jeremy Edwards was killed after an argument.

Sunday afternoon- Rayah Easterling’s body was found behind the Kangaroo gas station on Lorna Road in Hoover.

“Delivery truck driver had discovered a body behind the store,” said Capt. Jim Coker, Hoover Police Department. “In this case this was a suicide and not a homicide.”

“Further investigation through the night has revealed he is tied to a homicide in the City of Birmingham,” said Capt. Coker. “He is linked to the homicide that occurred on Cotton Avenue.”

Sunday 8:30 p.m. East Birmingham, Katie Lucas, 46, found inside her apartment.

Monday 12:19 a.m. Birmingham, 19 year old Aaron Whitt discovered in the 2800 Block of Wilson Road Southwest.

Monday, 5:50 a.m. Birmingham, victim found near the alley behind 216 83rd Street North. Name withheld pending notification of the family.

“Just before 6 a.m. a citizen called to say that he located a body lying just beside the roadway, our officers responded and located a female,” said Sgt. Johnny Williams, Birmingham Police Dept.

Monday afternoon, East Birmingham, male victim found inside a home near 84th Street South. Name withheld.

“We’re referring to this as a shooting investigation at this point. I was inside the house a little while ago and the home itself is extremely neat and well organized, but we do have a gentleman who’s deceased toward the rear of the home. We’ve taken one resident into custody, a female,”  said Chief A. C. Roper, Birmingham Police Department.

This much violence- in this amount of time – is a lot to handle. That’s even true for veteran law enforcement officers.

“Well it’s extremely difficult to predict here in Birmingham from the standpoint is our violence is unlike any other in regards to we don’t have much random stranger violence. Ours is more acquaintance related,” said Chief A.C. Roper. “Although we realize the police department has only so much influence, we’re extremely concerned as a police department and as I look at my people I see the concern… so.”

Police are asking for help – in these cases- anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at 254-7777 or Birmingham Homicide Detectives at 254-1764.

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