3 teens, 1 adult charged in fatal Decatur shooting

Published: May. 17, 2015 at 5:29 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2015 at 5:29 PM CDT
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Amani Goodwin (Source: Decatur PD)
Amani Goodwin (Source: Decatur PD)
Cedric Cowan (Source: Decatur PD)
Cedric Cowan (Source: Decatur PD)
Cortez Mitchell (Source: Decatur PD)
Cortez Mitchell (Source: Decatur PD)
Joseph Cowan (Source: Decatur PD)
Joseph Cowan (Source: Decatur PD)

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Police have made arrests in connection to a string of crimes that happened this weekend in Decatur.

Two shootings logged Friday and Saturday at separate scenes resulted in the deaths of two men.

There were also a series of shootings and attempted robberies which police believe are all connected. No one was injured in those incidents.

"This is beyond anything our community has experienced in such a short [span of] time," said Decatur Police Chief Ed Taylor.

Investigators said four people are charged in connection with these incidents:

  • Cedric Lamont Cowan, 16
  • Amani Juan Goodwin, 17
  • Cortez Ocie Mitchell, 16
  • Joseph Christopher Cowan, 20

Cedric Cowan, Goodwin, and Mitchell are charged with four counts of robbery and one count of murder each and will be tried as adults.

Joseph Cowan is charged with one count of capital murder. Police said the teens were arrested, while Joseph Cowan turned himself in Sunday morning.

MORE: Police investigate rash of violent crimes

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Friday, officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 100 block of Albert Street, where they found the body of a man in the property's carport. The body had multiple gunshot wounds, according to investigators.

Police identified the victim as that of 27-year-old Antonio Hernandez. Officials said Hernandez and another person were forced to the ground in another robbery attempt.

"The homeowner victim said one of the robbers began shooting his friend, Mr. Hernandez, for no apparent reason and he instinctively ran away," investigators said and Sunday's briefing.

Gunfire was reported three times around homes on 5th Avenue between late Friday night and early Saturday morning. One of the homes was targeted twice. These incidents, along with the attempted robbery of a bicyclist at another location and the robbery of a mother in front of her young child, resulted in no injuries.

MORE: Residents demand help reclaiming street

A witness on 5th Avenue told police she heard gunshots and saw a silver Nissan Altima with a black bumper driving away at high speed. Other witnesses reported a similar vehicle at other times throughout the night.

Early Saturday morning, a passer-by discovered a body at a pavilion near Wilson-Morgan Park. Investigators said the victim appeared to have suffered a single gunshot wound to the head.

Family members later identified the body as that of 25-year-old Joshua Davis of Lacey's Spring; they said charges announced Sunday are not related to this shooting until further investigation indicates a connection.

MORE: 2 men killed in overnight shootings

Investigators said they confiscated property including cell phones and items they believe were stolen by the group. They said some of this property is from Friday's robberies, as well as the robbery of several teenagers behind Julian Harris Elementary School, which took place May 13.

Police said they are still in the early stages of the investigation; more charges are expected related to the other incidents of shooting and attempted robbery.

If you believe you have more information which could be of use, you are asked to call the Decatur Police Department at (256) 341-4600.

Meanwhile, the three teenagers are held on $300,000 bond. Joseph Cowan is being held without bond.

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