Long awaiting trial for baby shower shooting

Published 9:01 pm Thursday, January 11, 2024

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Aaron McKinley, a respected figure in the Dallas County community and former educator, faced an unexpected turn of events while attending a baby shower at the 8500 block of Dallas County Road 189 in Marion Junction on Nov. 26, 2023. Struck by gunfire, McKinley’s life was almost halted, but now he hopes to make a full recovery with the support of family and friends.

Sentiments resonate with gratitude to the community from McKinley family members.

“For the love of Aaron, we appreciate your interest,” family members said.

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As the criminal case unfolds, the Marion Junction community grapples with the aftermath that happened on Nov. 26, 2023. Cedric Long, the 18-year-old implicated in the double shooting remains in custody.

“Because of Aniah’s Law, Long was denied bond on Dec. 1, [2023],” said Dallas County Sheriff’s Assistant Chief J.T. Cole. Cole is a 17-year veteran and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office lead investigator working the case to bring Long to justice.

“The shooting took place at a private residence in Marion Junction,” explained Cole. “Once units arrived at the scene, we observed two victims shot, one deceased and the other victim wounded in the face area.”

Sheriff’s reports detail Long as the individual who allegedly killed 32-year-old Charles Pruitt and severely wounded 42-year-old McKinley before fleeing on foot. Despite initially alluding law officials, Cole confirmed reports of Long’s swift apprehension.

“Yes, an arrest was made the following day on Nov. 27, [2023] in Hale County,” Cole said. “I plan on releasing an official statement to the public as soon as Feb. 29, 2024, after Long has been presented to the Circuit Judge.”

As the family and community cope with the aftermath of Nov. 26, 2023 the focus remains fixed on supporting McKinley’s recovery and ensuring justice is served for both victims. Those interested in supporting the McKinley family in their time of need should contact Mount Mariah Primitive Baptist Church in Marion Junction, Alabama, Reverend Willie J. Brown, Pastor.