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Bike rider gunned down – No known motive, no arrest made

Police cordoned an area of Ann Street

A Wilcox County man, apparently minding his own business, was killed in a brief hail of gunfire as he pedaled his bicycle along Ann Street in Atmore last Thursday night (August 3).

According to a press release issued by Police Chief Chuck Brooks, 31-year-old Shawn Oneil Quarles of Camden succumbed to his wounds not long after he was taken by ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital.

Witnesses told police that Quarles, who had lived at a Patterson Street Apartments unit for several months, was riding his bike to a convenience store for cigarettes when he was gunned down around 10:30 p.m. by an unknown assailant.

“The case is still under investigation,” Brooks said Monday. “We don’t have any suspects or concrete leads at this time.”

Several people in the Ann Street-May Street area reported that at least three gunshots had been fired, and that a black male was lying in the city street, which connects Brooks Lane with Patterson Street.

Brooks said Thursday night from the scene that an officer who was patrolling nearby rushed to the area and found Quarles on the asphalt, pouring blood from a chest wound. The policeman administered first aid while he summoned medics from Atmore Fire Department and Atmore Ambulance Service.

The police chief said preliminary indications were that the shooting victim would be lucky to survive. Those indications were confirmed a short time later when emergency medical personnel were unable to revive the wounded man and he was pronounced dead at the local hospital.

“We had a unit pretty close by, and when (the officer) got here, he found a subject lying in the road,” Brooks said. “He was bleeding profusely from his body, around the chest area. The officer called for the medics, and they tried to perform CPR on him and hold the blood down, but it didn’t look too good for him.”

Frank Jones, who lives along the short city street, said he and his great-grandson were watching television together when the shots rang out, a regular occurrence in the area surrounding the apartment complex.

“We were in there watching Mickey Mouse Club, and I heard some shots,” Jones said. “Then I heard another shot. I heard that the guy riding the bicycle had been shot, but I didn’t go outside to see because there’s somebody shooting every week around here.”

Police canvassed the area but were unable to find anyone who admitted witnessing the shooting.

As the APD homicide investigation continues, Brooks urged that anyone with information that might help with the probe call 251-368-9141.