NOTASULGA, Ala. (WRBL) – The family of a 73-year-old man gunned down over the weekend during a domestic dispute that led to the suicide of the suspected shooter in Macon County says he died trying to rescue his daughter from an abusive relationship.
The family of 73-year-old David Redding tells News 3 he was a loving husband, father, brother, and uncle.
“He was my fishing buddy, this just came as a big shock to us,” said his brother, Al Redding.
Redding held back tears describing the moment he heard his brother had been shot and killed on their mother’s birthday.
“It’s just not how it’s supposed to be,” said Redding.
Sunday, the family says Redding stopped by his land off Trammell Mill Road in Notasulga to check on his daughter, who had been living in a tent with 29-year-old Stephen Alexander. Investigators say it appeared the couple had been trying to live off the grid for several months without any utilities. Two tents, a trailer, and an RV are parked on the land. Clothes are hanging on a close line, and it appears an above ground pool like structure was collecting water.
” She was in an abusive relationship, and he was trying to get her out of that abusive relationship,” said Al Redding.
Investigators believe Redding and Alexander got into a fight and Alexander shot and killed Redding, and wounded a neighbor who tried to intervene and help stop the fight.
” He was a good neighbor, and he was lucky the two shots he received aren’t life-threatening. I am told the two shots in his chest cavity, well it’s a miracle. They barely missed his heart and other vital arteries,” said Redding.
Investigators say after the shooting, Alexander left the campsite and ended his life with a single gunshot along Interstate 85 at exit 16.
Redding says several families are now scarred forever by domestic violence.
“I lost a brother, and they lost him. If anyone is in an abusive relationship, don’t let it lead to something like this, there is help out there,” said Redding.
The shootings remain under investigation. At this point, investigators aren’t ready to say if they believe drugs or mental health issues were factors in the deadly murder-suicide.