Shooting suspect dies

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

A Selmont man charged in an Oct. 30 shooting that resulted in the death of his cousin reportedly died Wednesday after jailers discovered him ill in the Dallas County Jail, where he had been held on $176,000 bond since his arrest.

Eric Lamond Craig, 33, was pronounced dead at Vaughan Regional Medical Center after being brought in by ambulance, according to a hospital spokesperson. He was transported to Montgomery where an autopsy by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

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Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said Craig was discovered ill by a nurse and two guards at approximately 10:15 a.m. “as they made their daily rounds” issuing medications. Craig had a medical condition, however, details of his illness were unavailable.

“There was no evidence of foul play,” Huffman said. “He was in his cell by himself. The ABI was notified, as we’re supposed to, and they’ll be conducting the investigation.”

Craig and Sanchez “Mook” Manuel, 25, were charged with murder and two counts of assault, and were initially held without bond following the violent shootout outside Riverside Apartments. They had apparently had an altercation with several other men and had reason to believe they were on the way to Craig’s apartment.

Police said Manuel was left outside the apartment “to stand guard” while Eric Craig dressed in his apartment upstairs. When Craig’s relatives arrived, because of the darkness, Manuel told police he didn’t recognize them and felt threatened after seeing four men get out with guns.

In the aftermath Kelly Craig, 23, was pronounced dead at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Michael Craig, 30, and Gary Craig, 28, were injured in the shooting.

More details of the shooting came out during Manuel’s bond hearing. Police said Kelly Craig was apparently shot with a 7.62-mm cartridge from an assault rifle Manuel used.

Police testified during a preliminary hearing the assault rifle used in the shooting was obtained by Eric Craig, who told police he found it after the same men he feared were fought off last Saturday. Police said Eric Craig then went to Wal-Mart and purchased ammunition for it.