BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A man suspected of killing as many as four people across Alabama and robbing several others was arrested after an hourslong search by police, authorities said.
Derrick Hightower, 32, of Columbus, Georgia, had been shot in the arm before being taken into custody Saturday afternoon in Birmingham, news outlets reported. Police said they believe he was wounded during an exchange of gunfire with officers.
Authorities said they suspect Hightower of one slaying in Birmingham, two in Dadeville and a fourth in Auburn.
Hightower thus far has been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Nancy Nash, 54, who was found slain Friday near a burned pickup truck in Auburn. Kentrice Hill, 21, also was charged with capital murder in Nash’s death on Friday morning. She’s being held in the Lee County jail without bail.
Hours after Nash was found dead, Hightower was named as suspect in shooting deaths of a couple found Friday evening at a home in Dadeville, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Auburn. Willie Tidwell, 61, and his wife Barbara Tidwell, 65, were found dead in the home after a possible robbery, Dadeville Police Chief Johnathan Floyd said.
Late Friday, Birmingham police were notified that a stolen vehicle involved in a homicide in Auburn was spotted at a hotel, Birmingham Deputy Chief Scott Praytor told a news conference.
Investigators told news outlets that Nash’s black pickup truck was found at a hotel. Officers responded and reported seeing a silver sedan trying to leave the area.
While officers tried to stop the sedan, Praytor said, a man inside fired shots at police. Officers shot back, and the suspect jumped from the car and ran away. The sedan rolled into a ditch. No officers were injured.
Investigators traced the license plate on the sedan to a Birmingham home where Antione Harris, 36, was found shot and killed. Praytor said it appears Harris was killed before dawn Saturday.
Police searched the area for hours. Hightower ultimately surrendered on Saturday morning and was taken to a hospital to be treated for his arm wound.
Hightower also was accused of robbing three people Friday morning at an urgent care center in Chelsea, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said in a release. Chelsea is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Auburn.
Hightower is expected to be taken to Auburn to face charges in Nash’s death, authorities said. It was unclear whether Hightower or Hill had attorneys who could comment on their behalf.