UPDATE: The reward for information leading to a suspect in Gilliam’s shooting death increased to $16,000 total after $5,000 was added.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — It has been 9 days since 27-year-old Andrew Gilliam was shot while inside his residence at Sunlake at Edgewater Apartments. Now, his family is asking anyone who may know anything about the shooter to come forward.
“This type of story is something that only happens on the nightly news, and it doesn’t affect you personally, until it does,” Vic Hartman, a relative of Gilliam, told News 19. “The family is completely distraught, they’ve lost their loved one, a husband a son, a brother.”
Huntsville Police Department (HPD) said they responded to a shooting call at Sunlake at Edgewater Apartments around 3:00 a.m., on Wednesday, January 4th. When responders arrived they found Gilliam had been shot through the window of his bedroom. HPD said Gilliam later died at the hospital.
Huntsville Police said multiple apartments were shot into, however, Gilliam was the only person who sustained injuries.
At this time, Huntsville Police has not released any information on a suspect and says the information is limited.
“We have some avenues that we’re running down, but it’s very limited information, of course, there’s no witnesses that we know of at this time,” Sgt. Jack Pugh, Supervisor of Major Crimes for the Huntsville Police Department told News 19.
Hartman says the family is eager to get closure and is asking anyone who may have information on what happened to come forward.
“The greatest chance of solving this would be somebody giving a tip, coming forward, giving the word,” Hartman said. He said you can also report information anonymously through Crimestoppers.
The phone number for Crimestoppers is 256-53-CRIME (27463). You can also call the Huntsville Police Department at 256-722-7100.
Hartman said there is a hefty financial reward available for someone who can provide information that can lead to an arrest.
“Crimestoppers has $1,000 and our fund is $10,000 so anybody who’s going to provide a tip could get $11,000 if you have information,” he said.
Hartman told News 19 he kept his faith close and had a bright future:
“He was literally a rocket scientist,” he said. “He was an aerospace engineer working on NASA-related contracts, just an amazing young professional with all his life ahead of him.”
News 19 reached out to Andrew Gilliam’s employer to learn more about his work.
“He was a rising star in the Valve, Actuators, Lines and Ducts development branch within MSFC (Marshall Space Flight Center)” Qualis Corporation said in a statement sent to News 19.
The statement went on to say that Gilliam worked on the engine valves on the Artemis I core stage.
The statement was written as a collaboration by Gilliam’s supervisors. You can read the full statement below:
“Andrew Gillam was an employee of Qualis Corporation supporting the Jacobs Space Exploration Group at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Andrew was hired in October 2019 as a Valve Design Engineer. He was a rising star in the Valve, Actuators, Lines, and Ducts development branch within MSFC. He was a brilliant young engineer with a great technical mind who had a unique gift for attention and detail. Currently assigned to monitor performance of the RS-25 engine valves on the Artemis 1 Core Stage. The RS-25 is the large rocket engine that powers the Artemis rocket and 4 of them are used on the Core Stage.
Supporting many single engine hot fire tests leading up to the maiden voyage of the Artemis 1 mission, Andrew worked as a data analyst. During the launch countdown, Andrew worked console in the Huntsville Operations Support Center monitoring engine valve performance during the sequence of events leading up to the ignition of the engines and during the flight of the Artemis 1 vehicle.
Andrew is being remembered as a young intelligent man whose contributions will be greatly missed, not only at work but throughout the community. His love and commitment was shown in everything he put his hands on. Qualis and the JSEG team remain in contact with the family and continue to provide support. Qualis is currently offering Employee Assistance Program resources to assist employees in coping with such a tragedy, as well as the JSEG providing Positive Mental Health Champions to the entire ESSCA workforce.“–James Bruce, Director of NASA Programs, Qualis Corporation
While Andrew Gilliam’s murder remains unsolved at this time, the Huntsville Police Department tells News 19, “investigators don’t currently have any reason to believe there is an imminent threat to the public.”
A spokesperson for HPD said “investigators are aggressively working the case to give the family closure”.
Again, if you have any information that can help in the case, you can call Huntsville Police at 256-722-7100.