Mother makes plea to public for information into deadly shooting

TUSCUMBIA – Patricia Bates said she has lost a lot of sleep since March 9 when someone shot and killed her son.

“I live in fear, my family lives in fear, we don’t know if someone may come after us also,” said Bates. “I have nightmares, I don’t sleep — I can’t sleep.”

Her son, Derrick “DB” Bates, 37, was shot and killed outside his residence on Oak Drive in Tuscumbia just before 1 a.m. March 9.

Authorities said they continue to aggressively investigate the shooting, but no arrests have been made and no creditable suspects have been developed.

“We have continuously been following up on leads. Anything we get, we check on it. We followed up on something this week,” said Tuscumbia police detective Capt. Stuart Setliff. “It’s unfortunate, but so far nothing concrete has materialized.”

Police said the shooting was reported at 12:46 a.m. at the residence across from Willie Green Recreation Center in the southeastern part of the city.

Setliff said the shooting occurred after the victim pulled into the carport. He said several people were inside the residence when the shooting occurred.

Bates said her son had six children who now “are without a father.” She believes someone has answers that the police need.

“We just want answers that’s all. We want to know who did this and why,” she said. “We live in a small area and I am convinced that someone knows who is responsible. I’m pleading with them to come forward.”

Police Chief Tony Logan agrees someone knows something that could be useful.

“Literally, we are doing something on this case almost daily,” he said. “In fact, we did some interviews (last week) and we talk about it constantly.”

The chief said the department receives information from tips that come in on the Crime Stoppers trip line.

Setliff said it’s not believed the shooting was random, but investigators have not been able to develop a motive.

“It may have been robbery, it may have been something else. Nothing has been ruled out,” Setliff said.

The incident was captured on a home security video, but the quality of the video was not good enough to identify the shooter.

Police said Derrick Bates had just gotten out of his car when the shooter ran up behind him, armed with a gun.

“They started fighting. As they’re fighting, the man fires the gun and Bates falls to the ground,” Setliff said.

Reports indicate Bates was shot once in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I have reached out to other law enforcement agencies (in the region) to see if they have any information that could help with this case,” Logan said.

He said as soon as he heard about the double homicide that occurred in North Courtland last week, he reached out to North Courtland Police Chief Spence Butler.

“I agree with Mrs. Bates, there’s someone who knows something that can help us. We need them to come forward,” Logan said. “There are six children who are fatherless (because of this) and Mrs. Bates is without a son.

“We want to bring this to an end and get some closure for the family.”

The Colbert County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the investigation.

“I don’t want another mother to have to go through what I am. That’s why I’m pleading for someone with information to come forward,” Bates said.

Anyone with information should call the Tuscumbia Police Department at 256-383-3121, or Shoals Area Crime Stoppers at 256-386-8685.