Parents voice concerns after fatal shooting on Pulaski Pike - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Parents voice concerns in aftermath of fatal gas station shooting

The Wednesday morning shooting claimed the life of 18-year-old Ashia Oliver. (Source: WAFF) The Wednesday morning shooting claimed the life of 18-year-old Ashia Oliver. (Source: WAFF)

Huntsville parents have said enough is enough after yet another shooting on Thursday. It happened on Irondale Drive. Police are still investigating the fatal shooting at the Sunoco Gas Station on Pulaski Pike.

The shooting happened early Wednesday morning. An 18-year-old died and two others went to the hospital. No arrests have been made. Many of the people who live and work in the area all said the same thing: they were saddened and scared for their children.

Huntsville Police said they were not necessarily surprised young people were involved in some of the violent crimes because it was summertime. However, Deputy Chief Kirk Giles said it's hard to understand why they are resorting to such violence. Some people said there needed to be more proactive approaches to reducing violence both in the community and at home.

"Gotta be in the house by the time the street lights come on for sure, and if you don't know them, don't talk to them," said Huntsville parent Quentella Scott. "If you see an altercation going on, you go the other way."

Police said they are still interviewing witnesses in attempt to track down the person who pulled the trigger at Sunoco. The shooting followed an on-going fight between several girls. 100 people reportedly followed the girls in the days leading up to the shooting. Police said Ashia Oliver, the victim, was not involved in the fight that led to the shooting.

Since there were so many people around, there are a lot of witnesses to interview. Police said it is both a blessing and a curse. There are a lot of people to interview who may have information, but it's also disheartening to know that so many young people were involved or near that kind of violence.

Deputy Chief Kirk Giles said at first not too many people were coming forward with information, but that number is increasing. Thursday alone, he said they interviewed about 10 people, and that led them to even more. However, they are still asking anyone with information to come forward.

"That's the only way we are going to be able to solve this, people cooperate and help us solve this case," said Giles. "Because we have a family grieving right now, and there is no reason for that, but it does take time to go through all of those names and track people down."

Other than the interviews, Giles said they are still processing physical evidence and waiting on autopsy results. Giles said right now it's a matter of pinning down who was there and who investigators need to focus on. So far, many of the witnesses have come forward to provide insight into what happened. Police said Oliver was at the wrong place at the wrong time when the shooting happened.

"That's the old saying, it takes a village to raise a child and that is what the community needs to come together and say enough is enough," said Giles. "There's been enough violence, enough people killed. There is no reason for this, and you have to get through to these kids."

Pastor Oscar Montgomery sees Wednesday's shooting a symptom of chronic problems in the community that will take more than the most heartfelt sermons on Sunday to address.

"When I see this, it could've been my child," said Montgomery. "I have a 19-year-old son, and I'm afraid for him to go to any social event in Huntsville."

Montgomery said churches like his Union Hill Primitive Baptist have had some success with programs to teach, direct, and straighten out young people, but that outside issues also make violence more likely. The availability of guns, loose rules that bring underage kids out to dangerous places late at night, and lax parenting.

"You've got a 30-year-old parent with a 15 or 16-year-old child," said Montgomery. "You don't have that supervision. They're out there with the child in many instances. Mommy and daddy are at the same club."

For Montgomery, the aftermath of a tragedy like this is a brief moment of opportunity.

"I think that the religious community, along with the social civic community, with the political community, I believe we all need to sit down at the table, and have the will," Montgomery continued. He said we needed to do it before the tears dry, people forget, and it happens again. "Those hundred or so kids that were surrounding this incident, they're all candidates. They're all candidates."

Police said they continue to need your help to solve this murder. If you know anything at all, you are asked to call Huntsville Police.

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