Huntsville Homicide Cases Hit Double-Digit Decade High

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville Police say a shooting victim who was dropped off at Huntsville Hospital earlier this morning died from his injuries. Police say the death marks the 22 homicide in the city this year.

Huntsville Police Department spokesman Harry Hobbs said Jeffrey Deon Harris, 21, died Wednesday at Huntsville Hospital.

According to police reports, Harris was shot just before 4 a.m. in the 3500 block of Cable Drive and was taken to Huntsville Hospital before police arrived at the scene. Police are still investigating the case.

Homicide Numbers Remain Below National Averages

Despite the double-digit numbers Huntsville still remains far below national averages for population centers equal in size, according to data obtained by WHNT News 19. In 2012 there were a total of 14 murders in Huntsville.

Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris says this year’s homicide trend is troubling but there is not much his department can do about the murder rate.

“There is just no way of predicting if there will be a homicide or ten of them, but our numbers are about half that of other cities our size,” Morris said Wednesday.

Wednesday’s homicide comes on the heels of a murder/suicide case at an apartment building in the 2000 block of Highridge Drive, just off Golf Road.

Police say they have solved about 80 percent of the homicide cases this year, but some arrests have not been made due to delays on getting evidence processed at the state crime lab. Chief Morris says his department continues to ask for the public’s help solving a few “high-profile” homicides from earlier this year.

The Madison County Coroner says Alonzo McGhee, 44, died of multiple gunshot wounds in the 7000 block of Pale Dawn Place. His shooting death on January 4 marked the first homicide in Huntsville this year.  It remains unsolved.

In May, two brother volunteering inside the West Huntsville United Methodist Church were stabbed to death.   Anthony Jackson was 76 and Terry Jackson was 69.  Both lived in Huntsville.

According to crime stats from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other metro areas in Alabama have significantly higher homicide rates reported for the last several years.

Investigators say the homicide numbers are “average” for the city that sees far fewer murders than other similar sized cities in the region.  In 2011, there were a total of 13 murders.

In 2012, investigators did make quick work of several homicide cases. Police closed the case of the murder of 17-year-old Damon Groce, who was shot in the head and killed during an apparent drive-by on Eastbrook Drive on September 15. Police arrested Rodney Jones Jr. and Jessica Martin for the murder.

If you have any information that might help in any of the homicide investigations, please call (256) 722-7100.

2 comments

  • Jassen Sanders

    We can really never trust anybody right now, even those people whom to be trusted by laws can not give us guarantee speaking of our safety. I feel so sad every time I hear stories like this. Being a victim yet speculated is a hard thing to carry. That’s why we always have to be ready when it comes to circumstances like this. Let us not wait things like this happen to us. Be alert and ready at all times. I read about this smart phone app in the internet and it really works good for me. They can help me 24/7 by their emergency response call center. They know where I am and with a single press of a panic button they know I’m in trouble so they could send help right away. Here’s the link http://SafeTREC.com.

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