Suspected arson, shooting believed to be linked to Raceway murder

Published 9:40 pm Monday, April 30, 2018

A home on Minter Avenue was shot into several dozen times early Monday morning with high-powered rifles.

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier said it is believed to be retaliation for a fatal shooting Saturday that claimed the life of Ernest Weaver Daniels III.

“We believe its retaliatory and its related to the Saturday morning homicide,” Collier said.

The home, now riddled with bullet holes, is on the 200 block of Minter Avenue, where dozens of shell casings were found by investigators early Monday morning.

“Fortunately, no one was home, but [the home] was shot into several dozen times by two high-powered rifles,” Collier said. “We recovered .233 shells and 7.62 mm shells.”

A suspected arson at an apartment in the Rangedale Annex on L.L. Anderson Avenue is also believed to be related to the fatal shooting, but it has not been confirmed. Collier said the apartment is the home of the parents of one of the suspects in the murder case.

“The house fire has not been classified as arson,” Collier said. “However, it’s awfully coincidental.”

Selma Fire Chief Toney Stephens said there was a fire in the kitchen area of the apartment. He said a vehicle in front of the apartment was also on fire.

Fire damage is not visible from the front of the apartment with the exception of the vehicle. However, smoke damage could be seen Monday from the backside of the building.

“It’s been turned over to the State Fire Marshall for suspicions of a possible arson, and they’ll be the one to determine the cause of it,” Stephens said. “They’ll be the one to determine if it is arson or not.”

Alabama State Fire Marshall Scott Pilgreen confirmed Monday his office has been notified, but they have not started their investigation.

The murder the shooting and suspected arson are believed to be related to occurred Saturday morning.

The shooting happened around 3 a.m. at the Raceway on Highland Avenue.

When officers arrived on scene, they found 26-year-old Ernest Daniels III shot to death. Dallas County Coroner Alan Dailey pronounced him dead on the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

Collier said two other suspects were also shot. He identified the victims as 20-year-old Matravius Aaron and 19-year-old Marquavius Benjamin, both of Selma.

They both suffered gunshots to lower extremities and were transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center prior to police arriving on the scene.

A green Ford Expedition was found on the scene by investigators with multiple bullet holes in it.

Several shell casings were also recovered.

No arrests have been made in the case as of Monday evening.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Selma Police Department at (334) 874-6611 or the Criminal Investigation Division at (334) 874-2125.