Will Moderate For Cigars
Date registered: Apr 2005
Vehicle: 2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
Location: City on the TN River
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 200 Post(s)
It must be epidemic. Taken from our local paper this morning:
By Bernie Delinski
Published: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 11:18 p.m.
A Colbert County man was killed early Tuesday as he tried to escape his home and get help for his wife and daughter who were tied up during a house invasion, authorities said.
Harry James Ricks Sr., 41, was killed by a single gunshot that was fired by one of three men who broke into his home at 1715 Gate Six Road just after 1 a.m., said Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May.
Ricks' wife and daughter were not injured as the three men quickly fled the house when the fatal shot was fired. Ricks' wife was able to free herself and contacted authorities to report the shooting.
"We're evaluating the evidence and awaiting results of an autopsy on Mr. Ricks," May said. "All we know at this point is that we have a home invasion that led to Mr. Ricks being shot. At this point, it appears robbery is the motive."
May said the family was awakened when they heard someone kick in the front door. He said at least three men dressed in dark clothing and wearing ski masks and gloves entered the home. Each was carrying a flashlight and a handgun, authorities said.
They used duct tape and plastic ties to restrain the family, according to May.
"One individual, who appeared to be the leader of the group, got into a discussion with the victim and asked where the family had its money hidden," May said. "The wife told them that all the money they had was in the bank, but the individual was very insistent there was a large sum of money in the house.
"At some point, Mr. Ricks told him that everything they had was under the bed in a box. As one of the individuals went to the edge of the bed, the victim made a break for the front door and was shot."
Ricks was shot in the side of the head. His body fell near the couch in the living room area of the house. The couch is against the wall near the front door.
May said none of the men said anything when the shot was fired and all immediately left the house.
He added that only one shot was fired.
May said it's unclear what kind of vehicle the men left in, although investigators plan to talk to neighbors to determine what they saw or heard, if anything.
May said his office does not have suspects at present and have notified local agencies of the incident. He asked anyone with information to contact the sheriff's office at 256-383-0741.
May said the suspects are all black males, with two of them being 5 feet 7 inches tall or shorter. The other man is about 6 feet tall.
"There was apparently nothing taken from the house," the sheriff said. "There was nothing under the bed. Mr. Ricks apparently told them what he did in an attempt to distract them so he could make a break for it and get help."
Ricks played football at Colbert County High School and was working at Domco Floor Products in Florence.
Yellow crime-scene tape surrounded the yard outside the one-story red brick home where the crime occurred. A red Chevrolet 1500 pickup remained in the driveway of the well-kept yard.
Several people in the peaceful neighborhood were discussing the shooting and their slain friend Tuesday morning.
Neighbors on Hughes Street, a dead-end street that connects with Gate Six Road, expressed shock as they discussed Ricks' good reputation.
"He was a mighty fine fellow," Brian Alexander said. "He'd give you the shirt off his back."
He and three friends said Ricks grew up in Leighton and moved to the house down the road about 15 years ago. They remember him as a good athlete in high school.
"He was always a hard worker and loved sports and loved hunting," said Ken Fuqua, who added he never knew him to have any problems. "Every time you'd see him, he was happy."
Andre Bean said the neighborhood is peaceful.
"It's scary for anything like this to happen around here," he said.
Ricks' mother-in-law, Zela Mae Phillips, lives on Hughes Street, a few houses down from the Ricks family. She said the Ricks have a son and daughter, and are a good family.
"He was a nice guy," Phillips said of her son-in-law.
Many family members huddled at Phillips' home, leaning on each other as the shock of the early morning incident continued to sink in.
"They're doing pretty good, considering," Phillips said. "They're just still upset. It's going to take a lot of time to deal with this."
The homicide case is the first in Colbert County this year.
2005 S430 4Matic 'Morton' W220.183 • 722.671 Rest in Peace
Bells and whistles are thorns and thistles.