BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Investigators with the Birmingham Police Department are now looking into a fire at an apartment complex as a homicide case, believing that the fire was started to cover up a killing.
First responders first received a call after 4 a.m. Friday about a fire at the Watertown Lodge Apartments. The call was later downgraded to a smoke fire after they found light smoke in the downstairs apartment. Upon arrival, firefighters found small spots fires that they considered a material fire that were quickly put out.
During the course of putting out the fire, a man, identified Friday afternoon as 27-year-old Ladarrius Jamiel Brooks, was found dead. At the time, it was unclear whether Brooks, who was slightly burned, had died from smoke inhalation or was dead before the fire had started.
Later in the morning, Sgt. Rodarius Mauldin with the Birmingham Police Department confirmed that Brooks suffered a gunshot wound and that the fire was possibly started to cover up the killing.
Only one apartment was damaged with some smoke damage in the apartment above.
Law enforcement are investigating the case with “limited information.” No suspects have been confirmed or are in custody. As of Friday afternoon, a motive has not yet been established.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact the Birmingham Police Department Homicide Unit at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama at 205-254-7777.
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