Ala. deputy and dispatcher dead in apparent murder-suicide
"We are all in shock and saddened to our very core. Our hearts go out to the families of all those involved," Sheriff Matt Gentry said
Suicide is always preventable. If you are having thoughts of suicide or feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately at 988. Counselors are also available to chat at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. Remember: You deserve to be supported, and it is never too late to seek help. Speak with someone today.
By Tom Mayer
The News Courier
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Two employees of the Cullman County Sheriff's Office have died following an incident which occurred during the early morning hours on Thursday, Sept. 7, in Orange Beach, Ala.
A statement released by the CCSO indicates that somewhere around 2:45 a.m., Thursday morning, Deputy Kenneth Booth, 28, and Dispatch Supervisor Lexi White, 23, became engaged in an argument, which led to Booth shooting and killing White. According the statement, Booth then turned the gun on himself, taking his own life.
"Our family here at the Sheriff's Office is devastated. We are all in shock and saddened to our very core. Our hearts go out to the families of all those involved," sheriff Matt Gentry said in a statement.
The statement also suggests the pair were "involved in a dating relationship."
The Times has not been able to independently verify this statement at this time.
When reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Investigations' Lt. Trent Johnson with the Orange Beach Police Department, told The Times the investigation — which he said he was an active participant in — is currently ongoing. Johnson said the only information confirmed at this time was included in the following statement sent to The Times:
"At approximately 0245 on 7 Sep 2023, the Orange Beach Police Department responded to a 911 call in the 24000 block of Perdido Beach Blvd. On arrival Officers located two deceased subjects. Officers identified the deceased as Alexis White and Kenneth Booth Jr. both of the Cullman, Al area. This case is still under investigation."
According to the statement from the CCSO, White had been affiliated with the department since she was 16 through the Youth Leadership Academy.
"There are not enough words to express what she and her family mean to me. I am literally heartbroken. I feel like Lexi is one of my own kids," Gentry said in the release.
CCSO Communications Director Chad Whaley told The Times that Booth had not had any prior complaints filed against him and had not been the subject of any previous disciplinary action. Whaley also said, Booth had not displayed any type of behavior which would cause him to suspect an incident such as this would occur.
Johnson declined to comment on the type of firearm used in the shooting and that the investigation is ongoing.
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