By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Tragedy struck the Coosa County school system family Tuesday, along with the family and friends of a juvenile who was shot and killed in Sylacauga.
According to a press release from the Sylacauga Police Department, on Tuesday the department responded to reports of gunshots in the Drew Court Housing Complex. When officers arrived on the scene, they found a Black male victim lying in the roadway.
He was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced deceased on the scene. While the victim’s name is not being released because of his age, Sylacauga Police Department reported that the juvenile was a student in the Coosa County school system.
Coosa County Superintendent of Education David Stover confirmed that the teenager was a student at Central High School. He added that the victim had been going between Sylacauga and Coosa schools “for a while.”
“We are all saddened about the loss of life at such a young age,” Stover stated. “Our thoughts and prayers will go out to his family and friends. [Wednesday] and this week will be tough for our students and faculty. We are very thankful to have a great group of counselors, mental health professionals and administrators who will all be providing counseling services for students and staff who need to talk through this tragic event. Again, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”
The victim’s body was transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Montgomery for an autopsy. The police department stated in its press release that this is an active investigation and that no other information is available.
As of press time, no arrest had been made relating to the shooting of the Coosa County student.
This is at least the third shooting in the Drew Court area of Sylacauga in as many months. There has been at least one fatal shooting each month in January, February and now March in the housing area.
While the victims’ ages have varied, all have been Black males. They include the juvenile, 19-year-old Cameron Dontae Rogers and 34-year-old Devadney Sanchez Lauderdale, both of Sylacauga.
On January 16, Sylacauga PD responded to reports of gunshots in the area of Kingwood Drive in the Drew Court area. Officers located an SUV that appeared to have run into the back of a parked vehicle on the side of the road.
Rogers was found inside the vehicle, suffering from a gunshot wound. Sylacauga Ambulance Service then responded to the scene and determined that Rogers was deceased.
Then on February 5, Sylacauga PD again responded to reports of gunshots in the Drew Court Housing Complex. When officers arrived they found Lauderdale lying in the front yard of 189 Sherwood Drive, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Lauderdale survived through the night in a UAB emergency room in Birmingham, but died the following morning, February 6.
Reportedly all three shootings remain open investigations, and no arrests have been made relating to any of the three homicides.
Drew Court is located off of Crestline Drive in Sylacauga, east of Broadway Avenue. It is a Sylacauga Housing Authority property comprised of 309 units.
As of press time calls to Sylacauga Police Department and an email to Police Chief Kelley Johnson were unanswered.
Anyone who has any information about these crimes is asked to call the Sylacauga PD tip line at 256-249-4716 or call Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at 334-215-7867. Your information could lead to a reward.