Sheriff’s officials in Cullman County, located about 50 miles north of Birmingham, said the father was charged with murder in the shooting death of Raymond Earl Brooks, 59, a registered sex offender who was living with his parents.
The Associated Press isn’t naming the suspect to protect his daughter’s identity. The AP generally does not identify victims of sexual crimes.
Moments before Brooks was slain on Sunday, a motorcycle rider believed to be the father opened fire outside a country store in the Berlin community when he saw a man who has been dating his stepdaughter, said Chief Deputy Max Bartlett. The intended victim got away by running into the store and hiding, Bartlett said.
Investigators don’t know of any connection between Brooks and the man who escaped, Bartlett said, and it wasn’t immediately clear what sparked either shooting.
The father and Brooks “obviously didn’t have a whole lot of good blood between them,” but it was unknown whether the shooting was directly linked to the sex abuse case, Bartlett said.
“It is odd. He apparently had a lot of stressors going on in his life,” Bartlett said.
Court records were not immediately available to show whether the father had a defense lawyer. He was held in the county jail.
Documents show the suspect was a witness against Brooks in a sexual abuse case involving his daughter in 2001. Police said the girl was 8 at the time, but court records show she was 7.
Brooks pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in 2002 and initially was sentenced to five years in prison but later received probation, records show. He finished paying $2,946 in restitution and costs in 2009.
Barlett said Brooks was shot several times at the home of his parents, where he had been living, shortly after the shooting at the store. The father apparently rode his motorcycle straight to the house after the first shooting, Bartlett said, but the reason was unclear.
The man also was charged with attempted murder and shooting into an occupied building, Bartlett said.
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