Behind the yellow tape: Birmingham detective, lieutenant talk about gun violence

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 3:44 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham Police Department shared a video Monday addressing the impact of gun violence in the Magic City.

Homicide detective Kyle Johnson said his first homicide investigation as a detective in 2015 was about a block behind the home he grew up in. The case involved a man he knew as an uncle.

Johnson said one of the most difficult parts of his job is knowing who committed the crime and not having witnesses willing to come forward in the case.

Johnson also said he’s had murders occur over things like stealing a cigarette or just over words between people.

Birmingham firefighter and paramedic, Lt. Brian Pernell said every gun shot victim he responds to affects him differently. Especially because what he hears victims talk about in the back of an ambulance.

Pernell said, “Almost ten times out of ten, patients that are close to the end that will always articulate tell my mother I love her or tell my kids I love them.”

Pernell said you can’t ever be prepared when you see young lives taken away. He said the internal wounds from violence mixed with the external wounds are something you can’t get over.

Johnson and Pernell said people need to learn how to resolve conflict without using guns. They also said they need people’s help to come forward and tell officers what they know about cases.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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