Albertville Police continue to investigate the shooting death of an 16-year-old early Saturday morning.
According to Assistant Police Chief Maj. Jamie Smith, Garrett Honea, 16, of Boaz, was shot and killed following an altercation with an unidentified 20-year-old male, also of Boaz.
The young men reportedly got into some type of altercation at about 1 a.m. at a location on Alabama 75 North. The 20-year-old fled the scene and stopped at a parking lot on North Broad Street to check his truck for damage.
Honea, who was with a group of males, approached the man’s vehicle in an attempt to start another altercation, Smith said, when the 20-year-old drew a 9 mm pistol and fired one round, striking Honea in the chest.
The man then called 911 and police and medics responded to the scene to find Honea dead.
The exact locations were not disclosed and had no bearing on the case, Smith said.
“This was a random act at a random place,” he said.
Smith said investigators believe only one shot was fired and that the suspect had appropriate and legal registration and permits to carry the firearm.
Honea’s body was turned over to Marshall County Coroner Marlon Killion who transported the body to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy.
Smith said the 20-year-old, while detained at the scene and interviewed, has not been charged at this time.
The case will go before a Marshall County grand jury for possible charges, said Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall.
“There is default logic that takes place that people feel if someone is killed, there is an automatic charge of murder filed,” Marshall said.
“That is not always the case. They have to look at nature of intent. That is a critical factor in determining if the case qualifies for a charge of murder, criminally negligent homicide or self defense.”
Marshall said for a self-defense charge to be valid in any case, prosecutors must look at five allowable factors. Two factors may apply to Saturday’s shooting, Marshall said.
“It could be self defense if the shooter believed a felony-level assault is about to take place, and secondly, if the shooting occurred in the course of forcible entry into an occupied vehicle,” he said.
“Unless and until those presumptions are overcome, there won’t be charges filed.”
Smith said investigators will continue to interview witnesses present at the scene.
The suspect has been released from police custody. The investigation is ongoing, Smith said.
Updated to clarify self-defense may apply in this case if the shooter believed a felony-level assault was about to occur.