Tuscaloosa shooter has lengthy criminal past

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WAFF) - The man suspected of opening fire at the Copper Top Bar in Tuscaloosa Tuesday morning has a criminal history dating back to 1985.

Nathan Van Wilkins is currently charged with 18 counts of attempted murder and two counts of shooting into an occupied building and dwelling.

Court records show Wilkins pleaded guilty to burglary in 1988. According to reports from NBC affiliate station WVTM, a judge sentenced Wilkins to four months probation after stealing a Mercedes Benz from a body shop. Wilkins also served 10 days in jail in 2002 after pleading guilty to criminal surveillance charges.

The suspected shooter's Facebook page showed he is a father, grandfather and worked as a rig manager for Capstone Oil in Brookwood. He posed for photos with multiple semi-automatic weapons, including an AK-47.

Angela Faulkner, a friend of the suspect, told WVTM, "I will say he is a great friend and father and man. I don't know why this happened."

Court records showed his ex-wife Amy Wilkins filed a restraining order against him when they divorced in 2004.

A judge has not yet set a date for Wilkins' first court appearance in the Tuscaloosa shooting case.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.  WTVM contributed to this report.