A juvenile has been arrested and charged with capital murder after a Friday morning robbery in Tuscaloosa turned deadly.

Captain Jack Kennedy, the commander of the multi-agency Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, said a small group of people drove to the Tuscaloosa Police Department's West Precinct around 2 a.m. Friday carrying a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim, 20-year-old Derrick Wilder, Jr., did not survive his injuries and was declared dead soon after their arrival.

Kennedy said dozens of police officers across multiple agencies spent the next 12 hours in overdrive, and quickly located the scene of the shooting nearby at Creekwood Village Apartments in west Tuscaloosa.

Violent Crimes Unit investigators interviewed witnesses, reviewed multiple sources of video evidence and developed a suspect, who is under the age of 18, and Alabama law forbids police from sharing identifying information or a mugshot of juvenile suspects.

Kennedy said the VCU and the District Attorney's office presented evidence to a district court magistrate, who issued a warrant for capital murder. The VCU then involved the Tuscaloosa Police Department Special Response Team and the US Marshall’s Task Force to search for, locate and apprehend the suspect.


After a series of interviews with the juvenile and several other persons of interest, Kennedy said police believe Wilder was the victim of a robbery that turned deadly.

Police reportedly recovered some of the property stolen from the victim in subsequent searches and also found some narcotics and at least one firearm which led to charges being filed against another juvenile, but not the murder suspect.

Kennedy said the alleged shooter has been charged with capital murder and jailed with no bond. No further information about their identity will be released.

He also praised the inter-agency cooperation that allows the VCU to have such a high rate of arrests following a homicide in Tuscaloosa County.

"This case was another example of the different police agencies, along with specialized units and divisions working together to respond, investigate, locate, and arrest a dangerous subject," he said.

The deadly shooting marks the 13th homicide the Violent Crimes Unit has investigated in Tuscaloosa County so far in 2023.

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