By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
Following two recent murders and dozens of shots fired in an East Birmingham neighborhood, Mayor Randall Woodfin said on Monday that the murders were not committed by residents of Kingston, and the community “is a strong, historic neighborhood filled with families, children and seniors who care deeply about their home.”
“Over the past week, there have been two tragic shoot incidents in Kingston. However, those incidents were not committed by residents of Kingston, nor are the victims Kingston residents. Violent acts are finding their way to Kingston’s doorstep, and it’s not a reflection of the residents who are working so hard to keep the peace,” Woodfin said in a statement to The Birmingham Times.
At 12:50 a.m. on Monday, Dementrius Orlando Collins, 19, was found unresponsive in front of an apartment building in the East Birmingham neighborhood, after about 70 rounds had been fired, according to AL.com. Another man was also found with non-life-threatening injuries from the gunfire.
About a week ago, on May 29, police responded to the neighborhood, finding Juanderius Woods, 43, dead in a parking lot, after about 90 rounds were fired over multiple volleys, according to AL.com.
The mayor said Birmingham police are diligently working to find justice for the victims. “Meanwhile, we’re also taking measures to ensure that Kingston residents feel protected. That includes working with the Housing Authority to strictly enforce trespass ordinances for people who do not live in Kingston.”
He assured residents that “no one should feel unsafe in their own homes. Gun violence will not prevail. Kingston, know that we’re here to protect you.”
Truman Fitzgerald, assistant public information officer for Birmingham Police Department, also said people from outside the neighborhood are the problem.
“We have a group of individuals that are bringing their drama, their trouble here and terrorizing the residents because of that. When you see activity that is suspicious give us a call because as you have seen, you have beefs coming into the Kingston community that never originated here,” Fitzgerald told AL.com.
Anyone with information is asked to call homicide investigators at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.