FROM THE FAIRHOPE POLICE DEPARTMENT — On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, residents in the 18000 Block of Founders Drive, Fairhope, reported hearing gunfire and finding spent shell casings. A home, which was occupied at the time of the shooting, sustained damage, but no injuries were reported. The shooting occurred shortly after 4 a.m.

On Monday, June 25, 2018, at approximately 2 a.m., Sergeant James Nelson and Officer Joseph Seay, Fairhope Police Department, detained Mr. Walter Jerome Smith, Jr., age 19 of Loxley, Alabama, in the parking lot of a business in the 18000 Block of Greeno Road due to a heavy odor of burning marijuana. The officers discovered that he was in possession of marijuana and a Taurus .380 pistol with a serial number that had been scratched off in an attempt to obliterate it. The officers arrested Mr. Smith for possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number. Once the officers were able to read the serial number, a record check revealed that the pistol was reported as stolen, so Mr. Smith was charged with possession of stolen property.

As the investigation into the shooting continued, investigators developed leads indicating that Mr. Smith was a suspect. They compared the stolen firearm which had been seized from Mr. Smith with evidence collected at the scene of the shooting and, together with other investigative leads, were able to develop probable cause to charge Mr. Smith with the shooting. On June 25, at 5 p.m., Investigator David Hill, Fairhope Police Department, arrested Mr. Smith for the offense of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.

He has since been transferred to the Baldwin County Corrections Center in Bay Minette.