“He has shattered my world.” Mother of murder victim hit in head with shovel pleads for violence to stop

Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 8:17 PM CDT
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TILLMAN’S CORNER, Ala. (WALA) - The parents of a murder victim spoke out after their son was killed with a shovel to the head Friday.

Bandaged and bruised, a picture showed 25-year-old Etienne Murray suffering from a traumatic brain injury, fighting for his life from a hospital bed before taking his final breath on Friday.

Suffering from traumatic brain injuries, swelling and bleeding, according to parents
Suffering from traumatic brain injuries, swelling and bleeding, according to parents(WALA)

What led him there, Tuesday, he was hit in the head with a shovel in the 4300 block of Windy Hill Circle East in Tillman’s Corner.

According to Mobile Police, the suspect, Morgan Barnhill said Murray was an intruder breaking into his shed, so he slammed him in the head, though that story unraveled when detectives said they discovered several inconsistencies.

According to Murray’s mother, Barnhill was friends with her son, and Etienne was invited over for a barbecue. That’s when Barnhill accused him of stealing a purse, then proceeded to strike him.

“After he beat my baby, he left him there, didn’t call for help, didn’t try for help,” said Linda Gayle, mother. “If he would’ve called for help, maybe my baby would still be here.”

Barnhill was charged with murder and booked in Metro.

Meanwhile a mix of emotions for the victim’s family, heartbroken over their loss and anger toward their son’s suspected murderer.

“I want him to know he has shattered my world,” said Gayle. “He took my baby, and he didn’t have to do that. If he feels like my child took something from him, why not call the police? Why not handle it the right way? Why take the cowardly way out and beat my child’s head and leave him there?”

Through the gut-wrenching pain, Gayle pleaded for this violence to stop.

“I don’t even want anything bad to happen to him, as far as I don’t want him to die because I don’t want any other mother feeling the pain that I feel right now,” said Gayle. “No mother should have to bury her child, especially to senseless violence like this.”

Barnhill’s bond hearing is set for tomorrow morning.

The family told FOX 10 they will be donating Etienne’s organs, per his wishes.