2 charged in death of retired Birmingham firefighter

HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WIAT) – Hueytown police say two suspects in the murder of a 66-year-old man face capital murder charges.

Kamal Potts, 23, and Romell Cunningham are charged in the death of Howard Arthur McKee, who was killed inside his home on April 23.

McKee was a retired Birmingham firefighter and a two-tour Vietnam veteran. Police say he died trying to protect his home and property.

Investigators say they had leads in the case when McKee was killed, which led them to the two arrests.

Potts and Cunningham were arrested in Birmingham and investigators say they don’t think either suspect ever had any connection to the McKee until the day of the shooting.

Potts was taken into custody shortly before noon Friday. Cunningham was arrested Tuesday,

Hueytown police say both men are facing two felony counts each – capital murder during a burglary and capital murder during a robbery.

Police Chief Chuck Hagler says investigators believe it was a random crime. Hagler says McKee was home during the break-in and was shot when he resisted.

“It’s the kind of offense that should provoke a reaction from all decent, hardworking people everywhere,” Hagler. “This was not a drug deal gone bad. This was not a gang-related shooting. Mr. McKee was a completely innocent citizen killed in his own home by criminals for nothing more than a few household items.”

Cunningham and Potts are in the Jefferson County Jail with no bond. Hagler says there is also a woman who is a person of interest in the cast, but she has not been charged with any crime.

Hueytown police had help from the Birmingham Police Department and the FBI. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force made the arrests.

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