UPDATE: Suspects in custody in connection to landscaper's death - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Two suspects in custody in connection with landscaper's death

Posted: Updated:
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Right now, two unnamed suspects are in custody in connection with the death of a landscaper. 76 year old Birl Jackson was shot to death during a possible robbery attempt. He was pronounced dead at UAB Hospital around 9 a.m. Monday.

Jackson's grandson who works for Jackson Lawn Service witnessed the job site shooting. Police have interviewed him and others. Neighbors are now encouraging others with information to come forward.

Jackson's life was filled with love.

"There's too many [children] to count. He has over 50 grandchildren," said longtime friend Eunice Parler.

Parler says Jackson hired other teenagers at Jackson Lawn Service for the summer and served as youth minister.

Others knew him from his volunteering, job cutting lawns, and time as a deacon at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church on Tuscaloosa Avenue.

"Some people even called him Reverend Jackson because he talked about the Bible all the time," said friend Sheila Tyson.

"There would be no reason anyone would think to do anything like that to him. He didn't deserve anything like that. He was too good of a person," said Parler.

Monday morning, the sound of his company's employees cutting grass at King Manor Apartments was interrupted by three shots and Jackson was found shot in his car in the Zion Star Missionary Baptist Church parking lot.

"He was gagging. We were telling him to stay in there, hang in there. You will be alright. You will live. It eventually got quiet," said neighbor Gregory Muhammad.

Police believe he was shot during a possible robbery while making a drop off to his crew.

The suspect ran from the scene into nearby Loveman Village where road blocks were set up.

"You do hear it [gunfire] a lot unfortunately. You don't know what it is. This man was just cutting grass and trying to make money," said Muhammad.

Muhammad was willing to talk. He wants others to break the silence and start doing the same.

"It's fear. I hear, 'I'm not going to talk because I don't want anyone to see me.' These are things we have to fight. When the young people find out we are fighting against that, we will start curbing this back," he said.

In the meantime, a family is mourning the loss of a husband, father, grandfather, and friend.

"I think he's still doing for people but it's still in their heart right now," said Parler.

Jackson leaves behind 15 children.

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