Friends and family of a murder suspect and victim in Jackson County are split over a shooting Sunday.
We had a chance on Monday to talk to friends of the victim and family members of the suspect and they were still in shock following the shooting. It’s a situation they say was completely out of character for those involved.
Jackson County Sheriff John McDaniel said, "As the officers were responding we received another call from the victim; one of the victims who said ‘I have just been shot’."
According to Jackson County Sheriff’s Office officials, what happened at the home Sunday was a drug deal gone bad. The victim was the one renting the home, 47-year-old Lonnie Baxter and his girlfriend Gianna Simmons, who was taken to the Medical Center with multiple gunshot wounds.
Family members aren't sure if drugs were a part of the equation. From what they told News 4, the Jackson’s had a great relationship with the Baxter’s; Tyrone even being a pallbearer for Baxter at his mother’s funeral.
Willie Crawford Jr., the suspect’s brother-in-law said, "The victim’s sister is her best friend. So, it's a real bad situation here, because by him snapping, it could mess up some relationships here.”
Marcia Jackson, the suspect's sister said, "I feel like he did not just go there with the intentions of killing someone, there's more to the story that's being told here. My brother is not a cold hearted killer."
Meanwhile, police are looking for 31-year-old Clarissa Ann Howard as they found evidence in the home that indicates she was around at the time of the shooting. Now, she's wanted for questioning.
Sheriff McDaniel said, "We feel we can prove she was there. She's wanted for a probation violation, but we want her for this case as well. So, there may be an additional arrest pending in this case."
And, Marcia Jackson said she had just cooked dinner for Baxter that afternoon and was waiting for him to pick it up. Now, she's uncertain about her relationship with his entire family.
At last report, Gianna Simmons remains in critical condition at the Southeast Alabama Medical Center.