Alabama crime scene where 7 bodies found in burning house ‘horrific,’ investigators say

Published 4:43 pm Friday, June 5, 2020

Deputies responding to a call about a shooting in Alabama found seven people dead inside a home that had been set afire early Friday, authorities said.

Morgan County deputies put out the fire before firefighters arrived and found three women and four men shot dead inside, news outlets reported.

Mike Swafford, a spokesman with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said the blaze was near the bodies and may have been set in an attempt to destroy evidence.

“It is a horrific scene and to be able to process it will take some time,” Swafford said.

Sheriff’s deputies are familiar with the residence, having answered several calls there in the past few years for problems including drugs, robbery, trespassing and disturbances, he said. The killings might have been related to drugs, he told The Decatur Daily.

“Our theory right now is whoever did this, came in here for a reason, did it and left,” he said. Authorities are looking into the possibility of the killings being drug-related, Swafford said.

Investigators were still trying to identify all the victims hours after they were found and had not publicly identified any suspect.

Coroner Jeff Chunn said the names of the victims would be released once family members had been notified.

“In my 37 years as a paramedic, deputy coroner and coroner, this is the most major crime scene in Morgan County,” Chunn said.

A dog also was found dead in the home, a brick, ranch-style structure.