YERKWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE 1:45 PM JULY 21 – Two people have been arrested in connection with the death of Jalayah Hackman.
The Sheriff’s Office confirms Antonio Rossel Montgomery and Keleil Nat’Twand James were arrested in connection with the case. According to jail records, James is charged with attempted murder and Montgomery is charged with assault in the 1st degree.
The Walker County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide after a shooting Friday night in Yerkwood, Alabama. The victim was 20-year-old Jalayah Hackman, a student at the University of North Alabama.
“She loved life. She didn’t want to leave it at the age of 20. You know? It’s just… I’m angry,” said Hackman’s aunt, Juanita Madison.
She said her niece was home visiting from college.
“Third year in college, she was very smart, bright, beautiful girl. I mean she was working two jobs. She had it going on for herself, you know? She was really, really doing good,” said Madison.
Madison said Hackman was hanging out with some friends and family on Church Street Friday night when two men began arguing.
“She was trying to stop it and next thing they knew was shooting broke out,” she added.
“I heard about 14 … That’s a lot of gunshots,” said Anthony Carlisle, the victim’s uncle. He lives on Church Street near where the shooting happened. He said the commotion woke him up.
“It was sort of scary and crazy. Seems to me like she was an innocent bystander more than anything else,” he said.
Hackman was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, then transported to UAB where she survived another day. Her cousin said it was difficult having to let her go.
“We come from a family that believes in God. And we all had the faith. And we still have faith even though the situation didn’t turn out how we want it to, there was a bigger power at hand. So we have to lean on that understanding and each other. We’re going to get through this one day at a time,” said Sanquenetta Doaty.
“She lost her life. Doing so good for herself and she had to leave us like this. It don’t seem real,” said Madison.
Family members said they were already planning a community day for August 5th to be held at the park on Church Street near where Hackman was shot. They said they want to improve their neighborhood so that things like this don’t keep happening.
If you have any information about the shooting, you can leave an anonymous tip with the Sheriff’s Office with Tip411 by texting “Walker” plus the tip information to 847411. You can also download the Tip411 smartphone app.