Courtland home invasion led to deadly shooting

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. – A shooting at a home in Courtland Tuesday afternoon happened when a man forced his way into his cousin’s home, authorities said.

Courtland Police responded to a shooting on Water Street at around 2:40 pm yesterday afternoon.

Courtland Police Chief Steven Terry originally requested assistance from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.  After responding to the scene, sheriff’s office personnel determined that an involved person had a relative employed at the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Max Sanders and Chief Terry then requested that the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation assist in the investigation.

The Courtland community is in disbelief after a shooting in their quiet town. Bill Cottingham has lived in Courtland for over 70 years.

“This is a very quiet livable town. Everybody knows everybody and it just don’t happen, stuff around here like that,” says Cottingham.

State Bureau of Investigation officials say 53-year-old Phil Orr was shot after forcibly entering a residence and firing at the homeowner, that home owner was his cousin.

Officials say the homeowner was not injured, and Orr was pronounced dead at the scene. Community members say they feel torn.

“I hate it so bad cause I knew both of them. They we’re friends of mine,” says Cottingham.

The Courtland Police Chief says that a shooting like this has not happened in his 24 years of working there.

“It’s gonna shock the whole community. I just can’t remember having this right here on top of us like this. It’s just something that don’t happen right here in this little town, ya know,” says Cottingham.

Officials are not saying why Orr forced entry or what caused this altercation. Cottingham says either way, the situation is a tragedy.

“What happened? I just don’t know all that, but it was a terrible thing on my part that I knew them both real well,” says Cottingham.

Alabama Bureau of Investigation officials said no one is on custody at this time.

When the investigation is complete, the results will be forwarded to the Lawrence County District Attorney for review.

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