Birmingham PD investigating two unsolved homicides of first cousins

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham homicide detectives are looking for new leads in two shooting deaths. The victims were first cousins.

Rakim Hawkins, 23, was shot and killed in Kingston on October 9, 2016. His cousin, Antwon Hawkins, 37, was gunned down in Tom Brown Village in Avondale on Feb 2, 2017.

The family says Antwon was not from Birmingham. He lived in California and was visiting for another family member’s funeral.

Investigators say they don’t yet know if the shootings are related, but they are looking into that possibility.

The family says the only thing that will bring them peace is justice.

”It’ll be four months on Thursday and I still don’t have any answers to who murdered my baby,” said Rakim’s mother, Lawanda Smith. “There’s no justice and I know he can’t rest in peace and I definitely can’t rest in peace til I find out and they have the person that killed my son.”

Rakim Hawkins left behind two sons that Smith is now raising as her own. Detective Kyle Johnson said Rakim was the victim of a drive-by shooting.

“Beautiful Sunday after church. Little kids were out, but the people that were doing the shooting had no regard for little kids lives or big kids lives or adults or older kids. They’re just shooting,” said Rakim’s step-father, Leroy Smith.

Antwon Hawkins, Rakim’s first cousin, had just returned from taking his nephews to get candy when he was shot. According to police, Antwon was clinging to life when officers arrived, but he died on the scene.

Lawanda Smith says she hasn’t even had time to grieve, and she’s hoping someone can tell them what happened.

“I still don’t have any answers to who murdered my baby. There’s no justice,” said Smith.

“I want Chief Roper and this detective right there to keep doing their job to bring justice so my wife can get closure, so I can get closure, so the family can get closure,” said Leroy Smith.

Detective Johnson said he is chasing down several leads, but he needs any information the public may have on the cases so that he can close them fast.

“We got two homicides, less than four months apart, first cousins. That little bit of information that you may not necessarily think is important may be the information we need to bring closure to this one family, two homicide victims,” said Johnson.

Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777, and good information may earn the caller a cash reward.

 

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