PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) — Police say they have the killer six days after Darrely Harris, 40, and John Burkus, 32, were killed in broad daylight along the riverwalk.
That man, police say, is 29-year-old Damon Daniels, Jr., of Columbus.
“He was that person of interest that you saw that we put out for the public at the beginning of the week,” Phenix City Police Capt. Skip Lassiter said in a hastily called news conference Friday afternoon.
Daniels is now behind bars, facing capital murder charges in the double homicide on the Phenix City riverwalk. He was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office Friday at 11:45 a.m. on Emerson Avenue in Columbus.
An hour and fifteen minutes later, the Phenix City Police Department held a news conference to announce the arrest of Daniels and assure the public they had solved the high-profile crime.
Lassiter and District Attorney-elect Rick Chancey did not go into details about the motive, but they did say the video of who they called a person of interest ended up being the suspect.
Police say the video led to a tip that led to the identification of the suspect in custody.
“I would like to thank the general public for the tips that came in. They were appreciated and they helped greatly in solving this case,” Lassiter said.
The identification of Daniels led to his arrest Friday morning at a home in Columbus.
If convicted, Daniels could face the death penalty. Alabama law states that the District Attorney may seek the death penalty in the case of a double homicide resulting from one act.
Previously, police said Burkus may have been drawn into something Harris and the shooter were involved in.
The bodies of Harris and Burkus were found around 100 yards apart, on a path north of the Troy University Phenix City campus.
“We will get to justice for these families and deal with Mr. Daniels,” said District Attorney-elect Rick Chancey. “I don’t want there to be anything lost in the attention that needs to go to the victims and their families.”
Russell County District Attorney Kenneth Davis talked exclusively with WRBL about the arrest and the crime on the News 3 at 5 newscast.