Taking Action: Quelling fear in the community after last week’s gas station altercation

Taking Action
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Mark Pridmore's family reacts to his untimely death: "It's been rough," said his nephew Joshua.

He tells WHNT News 19 the incident has left a bad taste in his family's mouths.

"I think there's just more to the story, and that's what we want to find out to get satisfaction for ourselves," he said.

This, after an unreported fight a week ago led to an 18-year-old's arrest in the case. Berhe Starling is charged with manslaughter, which puzzles the victim's family.

Joshua Pridmore says, "I know there's intentions to hurt him. They might not have meant to kill him but they tried to beat him up real bad."

Manslaughter is a serious felony charge in Alabama, but it is legally defined as recklessly committing the crime in the heat of passion.

Captain JesHenry Malone with theHuntsville Police Department confirms police do not believe Pridmore's death was intentional, so they don't think this situation calls for a murder charge.

"The evidence does not point at this time that the offender had an intent to kill the victim," he said.

But people in the community have also been concerned about the incident, because of rumors the crime was gang-related.

A concerned viewer emailed WHNT News 19, asking if her family should walk in pairs at night to avoid any activity.

Malone says while being careful is always a good idea, the gang rumor is false.

"This was not a gang-related crime," he said. "These two individuals had no idea who the other person was prior to this encounter."

While a gang investigator did work the case, he was one of many resources police used to identify Starling as a suspect.

"We just make the very best of the resources we have available to us," he said.

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