Jasper police responded to a call of a vehicle striking a tree on 29th Street East in downtown Jasper at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Monday.
When officers arrived on the scene, they saw bullet holes in the vehicle and realized the driver had also been shot.
The victim, Joe Edward “Little Joe” Ross, 31, of Jasper, was transported to Walker Baptist Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 11 p.m., according to Walker County Coroner J.C. Poe.
Poe said the body has been sent to the Department of Forensic Science in Huntsville for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Jasper Police Chief Connie Rowe said her department would investigate the incident fully and hopes to make an arrest, but urges the community to avoid blaming the victim and understand the safety of the community is damaged by incidents like these.
“Regardless of what Little Joe’s personal history may or may not be, today he is the victim of a crime,” Rowe said. “It is important to the public safety of our entire community to identify and hold accountable the person or persons responsible for his death.”
Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair said his office has offered assistance to the police department and will await the results of the autopsy to determine what charges would be appropriate.
Anyone with information regarding the death is being asked to contact the Jasper Police Investigative Division at (205) 221-6790.
“JPD investigators are fielding numerous tips and leads in connection to this homicide,” Rowe said. “I encourage anyone with information about Little Joe’s death to contact our department.”