Tuscaloosa suspect's friend speaks exclusively with ABC 33/40 - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tuscaloosa suspect's friend speaks exclusively with ABC 33/40

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

A friend of The Tuscaloosa shooting suspect, Nathan Wilkins, spoke exclusively with ABC 33/40 - giving us a closer look at who this suspect is.

The news of the Tuscaloosa shooting spread quickly sparking a social media firestorm. It was a series of comments on Facebook that caught the attention of Rocky Smith, a longtime friend of Nathan Wilkins.

"I don't know why would cause it, what would trigger it or what made him do what he did," Rocky Smith, Wilkins' friend said. "I just can't believe it."

He says Wilkins has lived in Northport for several years and until recently worked at the Capstone Oil company. He even  lived with Smith's family for awhile.

"He's always been a humble guy, real meek- would do anything for anybody," Smith said. "It's still all confusing to us."

While he doesn't support his friend's actions, Smith says Nathan is like a brother.

"Whatever he did he did for his own reason and I'm not condoning that," Smith said. "I don't stand up and praise him for what he did because it was wrong, but I do love him as a person."

"He always has been a brother to me. I still call him that and always will," Smith said.

Chief Steven Anderson says this suspect is involved in two shootings. Just before midnight, police believe he shot and injured one person in a Northport neighborhood. Then traveled to Copper Top in Tuscaloosa where he's accused of shooting 17 more.

"It put enough pressure on this individual and he realized he didn't have any place to run and the best thing to do is to turn himself in and that's what he did and we are grateful that he did that without causing anymore loss of life or anymore injury to anyone else," Chief Steven Anderson, Tuscaloosa Police said.