By Alton Mitchell
Chambers County often finds itself on the better end of the spectrum of gun violence and crime in comparison to neighboring communities. However, over the past several weeks violence has laid claim to various parts of Chambers County and resulted in the loss of at least four lives in the County since late September and left at least eight others across the County wounded.
The rise in gun-related violence began on September 27th in Valley. At 2:30 p.m. officers responded to a home in the 4300 block of County Road 388 in reference to a shooting when officers arrived they discovered a 55-year-old female dead of a gunshot wound in the driveway of the residence. The victim was identified as Judith Dawson, of Tuskegee. Police believe that Dawson and two female friends arrived at the home and had a confrontation with the homeowner and his 18-year-old son. Shots were exchanged between both parties during the confrontation and Dawson was fatally struck. The 18-year-old son was taken for questioning and released without charge in the incident.
Only a week and half later, on October 8th a man was found shot at a nightclub north of LaFayette. According to the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office the victim was identified as Derrick Burton. He had been shot multiple times at the Sportsman Club on County Road 160 near LaFayette. Burton was transported to East Alabama Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries. Chambers County investigators arrested 33-year-old Chavis Montay Story in connection to the shooting last Thursday.
A day after Story was taken into custody Chambers County investigators had a fatal shooting on their hands. On the morning of Friday October 20th investigators were dispatched to southern Chambers County near County Road 25 in reference to the discovery of a body. When officers arrived, they discovered an unidentified black female near the roadway. The cause of death appeared to be from a gunshot wound. The victim was later identified as 47-year-old Tammie Christina Blount, of Opelika. Investigators have not yet made an arrest in connection to the fatal shooting of Blount.
Before the identity of Tammie Blount came back investigators in Lanett had one of the worst shootings in recent history of Chambers County on their hands early Sunday. Early Sunday morning Lanett officers responded to Club Addiction on 19th Street SW in reference to a shooting call. When officer arrived, they discovered one male shot. That individual was transported to a Valley hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators learned that additional shots had been fired near the nightclub and in the nightclub. One of those bullets struck an occupant of a vehicle whom police found a short time later and transported to a nearby hospital. At least seven other victims showed up at local hospitals by private vehicles with gunshots sustained at the nightclub. A second victim died from injuries sustained on Monday. In all nine people were shot at the club on Sunday, two fatally.
No arrests have yet been made in connection the Sunday shooting in Lanett. Shootings in Chambers County are a rarity and there are no indicators that suggest the shootings are related in any manner. Police continue to investigate all the shootings and anyone with information about any of the case can contact CrimeStoppers at (334)756-8200.