Police Charge Two Suspects in Death of Retired Birmingham Firefighter

Hueytown police have charged two men with murder in connection to the death of a 66-year-old retired firefighter who was slain in his home on April 23rd.  Kamal Potts, 23, and Romell Cunningham, 28, are both facing one felony count of capital murder during a burglary, and one felony count of capital murder during a robbery.

Potts, his girlfriend Shamara Sankey, and Cunningham, went to the home of Haward Arthur McKee at around 2:45 p.m. on April 23rd to carry out a burglary.  The robbers kicked down McKee’s front door and attempted to steal a television before McKee chased them from his home using a machete.  The suspects got into an escape vehicle and Cunningham fired several shots at McKee using a .38 caliber handgun.  One of the rounds struck McKee who collapsed and was later pronounced dead at around 3:08 p.m. that afternoon.

Investigators believe that this was a “random crime” and do not think either suspect had any connection to McKee prior to the day of the shooting.

Potts was taken into custody on April 30th by Hueytown police and the Birmingham Police Department’s Crime Reduction Team.  Cunningham turned himself into authorities in Bessemer on May 2nd after learning of an all-night search by United States Marshals to find him.  Both men are currently being held in the Jefferson County Jail without bond.

Court records show that Potts and Cunningham are both awaiting trial on separate 2013 charges of receiving stolen property.  Cunningham has also previously been convicted of obstruction of justice, carrying a pistol without a license, and cocaine possession.  He received a one-year suspended sentence in the drug possession case.