A Birmingham hospital went under lockdown after violence found its way to the medical facility’s doorstep on Labor Day.
In the early hours of September 4, a Chevy Tahoe emerged at the University of Alabama- Birmingham (UAB) Hospital with shooting victims inside the SUV. Three people in a light-colored Chevrolet Tahoe arrived seeking medical attention for gunshot wounds when additional shots were fired at them by at least two suspects. Witnesses and police described how the Tahoe was at the facility’s entrance, and an unidentified vehicle pulled up, dropping heat on the SUV. According to AL.com, multiple rounds were fired, and bullets reportedly hit a police vehicle and a window at the hospital.
Cops sprang into action, securing the perimeter of the emergency entrance and locking down the surrounding area.
According to Birmingham Police Department Officer Truman Fitzgerald, two young women died, and three people were left injured at UAB Hospital in the aftermath.
The three victims in the Tahoe were two females and one male. Both of the women — Markiezia Atkins, 24, and Chaveda Willis, 33 — were pronounced dead by UAB staff, according to CBS 42. Atkins’ Facebook profile noted that she was a mother of a baby girl named Nevaeh and from Atlanta, Georgia. Willis was a postal worker with two children, Maine and Zoe. The federal employee also braided hair as a side hustle.
The man in the car with the deceased victims suffered life-threatening injuries.
The fatal incident at the hospital is suspected to be connected to a prior shooting at Aria Restaurant and Lounge — less than two miles away — at the 900 Block of 5th Avenue North in Birmingham. The nightlife venue’s Instagram account highlights that it hosts “Rehab Sundays” from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. — but it’s unclear whether anything Labor Day specific happened the night leading into the Monday morning shooting at the hospital.
Authorities are investigating the tragic events as a double homicide, and no suspects are in custody.
“We do believe this incident was a targeted attack,” disclosed Fitzgerald, who added that “many of the victims were innocent bystanders.”
“[We] have two women whose lives were cut entirely too short,” added Chief of Police Scott Thurmond in a statement regarding the violence at Aria and throughout the city. “They don’t solve problems. They only create bigger problems and destroy families and our city. Birmingham and our residents deserve better.”
Those with relevant information about the Labor Day shootings and suspects are asked to contact the Birmingham Police Department at 205-254-1764. Alternatively, those who want to remain anonymous and receive a cash reward of up to $5,000 for their tip can call Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.
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