One dead after early-morning shooting near University of Alabama campus

Branden Moss

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Police say a 23-year-old Tuscaloosa man was shot and killed after helping an assault victim in a parking lot across from the 3000 Bar right by the University of Alabama campus.

The Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit is investigating the crime. Captain Gary Hood says officers got the call just after 2:15 a.m. Sunday morning.

26-year-old Markis Russell was arrested and charged with murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle and gun possession violation. The fatal shooting happened in a parking lot just after 2 a.m. in the 600 Block of Paul W. Bryant Drive. UA student Karen Wentworth says a shooting so close to campus is scary.

Markis Russell is charged with murder and two other charges.  Courtesy Tuscaloosa PD

“There are crimes that happen and you hear about that all that time. But actually hearing about someone dying and losing their life so close to campus, and really so close to where we live, is really upsetting,” Wentworth said.

Investigators say witnesses report several men got into a fight after the bar closed at 2 a.m. across the street in a parking lot. Police say about 4 men assaulted another man in the parking lot. Immediately after the assault, 23-year-old Branden Moss walked over to the victim and tried to help him. After helping him, Moss went to one of the subjects who assaulted the victim and began to talk to him as he was leaving in a vehicle. While Moss was speaking to him, another subject reportedly not involved in the altercation walked up with a gun in hand and began firing at Moss multiple times at close range. Moss ran 75 feet before colla[psing from his injuries.

Tuscaloosa police identified the shooter as Markis Russell; he was taken into custody and charged with murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and certain persons forbidden to possess a pistol. UA student Kait Whitham says she was glad police made an arrest.

“It is scary. My heart goes out to the family who lost that individual. It is so scary and you never know what can happen,” Whitham said.

Branden Moss via Facebook

As a result of the shooting, UAPD sent out a text alert warning students. Police later sent another alert advising students the shooting was not a threat to campus.

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