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City’s 2nd homicide

APD still in process of notifying family of female shooting victim


News Staff Writer

Atmore police have still not released the name of a woman who was shot to death this week (Monday, May 27), reportedly by a man with whom she had lived for several decades, during a predawn domestic incident at a Terrace Street residence.
Sixty-two-year-old Fred Dale was arrested without incident and charged with simple murder in the slaying, which took place around 4:05 a.m. and is the second homicide within the city limits this year. The first occurred January 13, when Okeema McCants was shot to death on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Unconfirmed reports are that the Terrace Street victim was shot at least three times.
APD Sgt. Darrell McMann said the primary reason authorities are withholding the victim’s name is that her immediate family has not been notified of the tragedy.
“The victim’s name hasn’t been released for a couple of reasons,” McMann said in an email. “One, we would prefer the victim’s family be notified by other family members and not through the media. Two, the family has been through a terrible tragedy, with one family member arrested for murder, and Three, the family should be allowed to grieve privately if they wish.”
The third reason falls outside regular police protocol, under which murder victims are often identified even before the suspect is arrested. McMann did not elaborate on why the current situation requires a different police approach.
Meantime, Dale remained behind bars in the Escambia County Detention Center (ECDC), awaiting a bond hearing, at Tuesday’s press deadline. According to ECDC records he had never been jailed in the county facility before the May 27 incident.
Stabbing update
Police are still waiting for improvement in the medical condition of the only suspect in the April 23 knife fight outside Tractor Supply before moving forward with the case.
Authorities have reportedly obtained an arrest warrant for the unidentified suspect but do not plan to formally arrest him until he has been released by doctors.
Police reports indicate that two combatants squared off, each stabbing the other and one returning to stab his opponent several times more, until one unidentified local teenager lay in a pool of blood in the store’s parking lot, and another, also bleeding heavily, made it just inside the store before collapsing.
Both teens wound up hospitalized in critical condition and underwent several surgical procedures, a fact that has slowed the arrest process.
“No arrest has been made at this point due to the offender’s medical condition,” McMann said this week. “When the offender is arrested, an update will be released.”