Decatur woman speaks out after witnessing sister’s murder

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DECATUR, Ala. - The family of 30-year-old Caridad Stripe is seeking stability following her shooting death at Courtyard Apartments.

Latoria Marsh’a McGuire, 26, is now charged with Stripe's murder.

Stripe's sister, Millagro Acosta, was in the parking lot and witnessed the events.

"In broad daylight, my sister just knocked on the door and [McGuire] just opened it and shot her," said Acosta.

She said she tried to apply pressure to Stripe's chest wound, and tried to perform CPR and keep her sister conscious, but it wasn't enough.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses while they care for Stripe's two children, ages 10 and 12.

Acosta said her family won't be able to properly grieve without McGuire's conviction. She added that the suspect has children of her own and that her actions were selfish, considering her relationship with the victim.

"[McGuire] was someone who used to call herself a friend of my sister's," explained Acosta.

"My sister's last dying words was that she loved her kids," said Acosta. "She was a great mother, a loving person. You could never tell the things she went through by the smile she wore on her face."

Assessing Crime in the Area

We also reached out to District Four Decatur City Councilman Charles Kirby, who said he has been aware of issues in that neighborhood for years, and is working with police to increase patrols.

"I've had numerous reports in the area about thuggery and crime," he told WHNT News 19. "I think we need to do a better job of concentrating the police presence."

Decatur Police provided WHNT News 19 with crime data for the area since the beginning of 2017.

Crime data around Courtyard apts for 2017 (Source: DPD)

There have been a total of 24 calls for "police services" this year in the area of Courtyard apartments. Lt. Proncey Robertson explains that is every kind of call, including traffic stops.

The map shows the crimes reported in the area, a total of 11 since January. Of those 11, only two were felonies, outside of Monday's homicide.

The others ranged from criminal mischief to breaking and entering of a car.

Councilman Kirby explained that he held a joint community meeting with Decatur police for his constituents weeks ago, and concerns about Courtyard Apartments came up. He said he trusts the police department's abilities, considering the fact that they've taken someone into custody in connection to every murder this year.

He said there is a transient population that moves out of certain areas when a police presence moves in, and, unfortunately, he said that population is now being pushed into that area.

Considering the fact that neither the suspect nor the victim lived in Courtyard, police say the area and its residents have nothing to do with Monday's murder.