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, AL (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.

Copyright 2017 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Report an Error | Submit a Tip to WAFF 48

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly