Reward offered for interstate shooting that left driver paralyzed

Published 11:27 am Monday, December 28, 2020

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has approved a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for an October Interstate shooting that left one man paralyzed from the torso down and his family terrorized by the event.

On Oct. 9, 2020, around 10:40 p.m., a family of four was traveling along Interstate 20/59 near the 96 mile marker in Tuscaloosa. The father was driving a dark GMC Yukon, with his wife and two young children, including a 10-month-old. The family was driving from Georgia to Texas to visit family, Tuscaloosa authorities report.

As they drove through Tuscaloosa County, a vehicle pulled alongside and fired multiple rounds into the family’s vehicle.  The father was struck in his back and was immediately paralyzed from the torso down, officials say. Being paralyzed, the father did not have the use of his legs or feet and could not use the brakes but was able to maintain control of the vehicle, shift it into neutral and control the vehicle until it stopped.

A GoFundme established for the family has raised more than $20,000. 

This is what the GoFundMe reads: “My brother and his family couldn’t have been more excited to come see us and meet their new nephew and cousin. Matter of fact, so anxious that they decided to leave in the evening after a long hard day at work so they could capitalize on every second that weekend to spend with us. They packed up not knowing that their and our lives would never be the same. That evening, my brother plowed his way through the darkness of the night making his way towards us on their long journey. A journey that would change him for the rest of his life. He began to hear loud noises in the car, thinking of mechanical problems and fearing for his family’s safety, he steered the vehicle to the side of the road as the vehicle lost power. Upon the shining of the light from his wife’s cell phone, it was apparent that there were no mechanical issues but merely gunshot rounds that rang into the vehicle. At that point, they realized my brother had been shot and lost feeling from his chest down. He was rushed to the hospital while his family was left behind in shambles. Now, as he lays in a hospital bed paralyzed from his chest down, we are all trying to pick up the pieces and grasp to hope that he may return to some type of normal. A new normal without the use of his legs.”

According to the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, the family had no interactions with any vehicles or other person that would have provoked this encounter. Since the shooting, the father is in a long term rehab facility and it is unknown if he will ever regain use of his legs.

The Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit hopes the reward encourages anyone with information to come forward. You can reach the Tuscaloosa VCU at 205-464-8690 or the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office at 205-752-0616.