Two people were killed and a third injured in a shooting in the parking lot of Taco Bell in Guntersville early Thursday evening.
It set the nerves of the town on edge, with people asking two big questions on social media: Has the shooter been apprehended and when did a quiet town on a lake start becoming so violent?
It turns out the people were not from Guntersville.
The victims were identified as Elias Gaspar Escobar Lopez, 19, of Boaz, and a 17-year-old male juvenile police declined to name due to his age.
Charged with capital murder in their deaths was 23-year-old Kevon Yenovi Williams of Grayson, Georgia. He was injured in the exchange of gunfire himself, shot through the buttocks, police said. He was taken into custody at Marshall Medical Center North, where friends had apparently taken him and dropped him following the incident.
Williams was transferred to the county jail Friday afternoon following a hearing conducted by District Judge Mitch Floyd, who ruled he be held without bond. Guntersville Police Chief Jim Peterson said Williams has warrants in other jurisdictions, one county in Alabama and in another state.
Police have not elaborated on the motive in the shooting.
Other law enforcement agencies responded to back Guntersville up following the shooting. Because the scene took so much of Guntersville PD’s available manpower, the Sheriff’s Office was answering the city’s other calls in town and north of the river, while Albertville Police answered Guntersville calls on the south end.
The county's Major Crimes Task Force was activated to help Guntersville investigators work the scene, making investigators available from every police agency in the county as well as from the DA's office. The State Bureau of Investigation offered to help, as did surrounding counties and cities from those counties.
It was the first multiple homicide in Guntersville since the July 13, 2018, triple homicides of Marie Kitchens Martin, her 7-year-old grandson Colton Lee and neighbor Martha Reliford, all on Mulberry Street just a few blocks from where the latest multiple victim killing took place.
As in this case, the alleged perpetrator, Jimmy Spencer, was not from here. He'd recently been paroled and had skipped out of a halfway house and had landed in Guntersville apparently because he had acquaintances here.
For Guntersville Police, the case also brought to mind the Jessie Phillips case. Phillips killed his wife, who was carrying their unborn child, in a car wash at Warrenton, but he was from Albertville. He was found guilty and given the death penalty. His case was back in court in Marshall County just a couple weeks ago as he filed a Rule 32 petition seeking a new trial, saying he had ineffective counsel at his original trial.
Guntersville is something of a crossroads and these heinous crimes that rock the community often are committed by people from other places.
Victim 17 Year Old Male Juvenile
Charged With Murder of Two or More Persons