Suspects charged with using slingshot to shoot marbles into moving cars

Local News

SPRINGVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Two men have been charged after police say they shot into moving vehicles using glass marbles and a slingshot.

Damage was reported to several vehicles last week in the city of Springville. Police said they took 8 different reports.

“There are some other municipalities investigating this from damage in their areas as well,” said Sgt. Frank Mathews with the Springville Police Department.

Mathews said the majority of calls were reported along U.S. Highway 11.

After an investigation, 18-year-old Alexander Hyche and 20-year-old Jordan Smith were charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle and criminal mischief.

Both have bonded out.

Victims are still uneasy after the incident.

“This loud explosion happened. It scared me to death, I thought she was shot. I didn’t know what was happening, there was glass everywhere,” said Tammy McDaniel, who was the passenger in one of the cars.

McDaniel was helping her 16-year-old niece Kiersten Charping practice some night driving after bible study when their window was shot.

“Something bad could happen to me or my aunt, you know, me being a new driver, I could have lost control and went off the road,” said Charping.

Charping’s Aunt just replaced the glass on the vehicle. She still cannot believe the suspects are accused of using glass marbles and a slingshot.

“I have trouble understanding how anybody could find that that’s funny. I have trouble understanding how anybody could just sit and come up with this,” said McDaniel.

According to Springville Police, investigators used the recently-installed Flock Safety system for help.

Several cameras are strategically placed around the area and provide officers with a library of vehicle images that can be used in investigations.

Sgt. Frank Mathews explained the cameras aren’t there to enforce speed, but help locate a wanted person or stolen vehicle.

In this case, the system helped locate the suspects, Mathews said.

“We were able to put a timeline down on when these incidents occurred and the shooting and what time the vehicle was passing these cameras, and it narrowed it down to what type of vehicle it was,” said Mathews.

Mathews said other jurisdictions also use Flock Safety cameras and departments can communicate information that may help in a join investigation.

Victims like Charping told CBS 42 it will take some time to feel comfortable driving again.

“I don’t know if I want to get behind the wheel anymore. I know I will eventually, but right now it is very scary,” said Charping.

Springville Police said Flock Safety cameras have been helpful in solving other crimes. Sgt. Mathews encouraged neighborhood associations to consider similar devices to deter crime.

The suspects could face charges in other jurisdictions.

Investigators declined to talk about a possible motive.


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