Huntsville Taco Bell shooting victim dies; suspect charged with - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville Taco Bell shooting victim dies; suspect charged with murder

James Townsend (Source: Family) James Townsend (Source: Family)
(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

Huntsville police confirmed on Thursday that the 15-year-old victim from a shooting at Taco Bell has died in the hospital. The suspect is now charged with murder.

The shooting happened at Taco Bell at 2885 Memorial Parkway at approximately 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

According to police, 15-year-old James Townsend was waiting in line inside the restaurant when 19-year-old Donovan Keith Little walked up, pulled a gun, shot him multiple times then left the restaurant.

Townsend was transported to the hospital in serious condition where he later died. 

Little turned himself in at the Huntsville Police Department's administrative building on Wheeler Avenue Monday night. He was initially charged with attempted murder. Those charges were upgraded to murder on Thursday.

Police say Little confessed and told them it was a revenge shooting. It allegedly stemmed from an incident in August 2015 where Townsend shot Little inside a home in the 2500 block of Holmes Avenue. Townsend was charged with assault for that shooting.

Little is now being held in the Madison County Jail.

Townsend's family is still coming to grips with his death. His cousin, Courtney Moore, said they are "definitely shocked and devastated."

"His mom was actually inside of the Taco Bell, in line waiting with him when the guy came in and opened fire, so his mom was a witness,” said Moore.

Moore said his cousin was shot three times and left fighting for his life until succumbing Thursday morning.

"He was on life support and we were just hoping that he would pull through, but his mom and dad decided to let him go peacefully," he said.

Police say Townsend and Little knew each other. His family confirmed the two go back several years and they used to be friends.

Family members say the 2015 shooting was an accident. They said Townsend was playing with a gun and mistakenly shot Little. They said he served time in a detention center for the shooting, got out and was on the right path.

"James went to (Mae) Jemison High School,” said Moore. “He's very athletic. He loved basketball. He was into music and he also attended church."

Family members say Townsend and Little hadn't seen each other in years until days ago at the Taco Bell.

Their message now is what they hoped Little would've considered before allegedly shooting an old friend.

"Put the guns down and just learn how to stop the violence, and come together, and solve the issues without, you know, having the use weapons," said Moore.

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