New father shot, killed days before his first Father’s Day

A young Tuscaloosa man is dead just days before he would have celebrated his first Father’s Day. The victim’s family identified him as 20-year-old Derrick Wilder Jr.

WVUA 23 News learned the shooting happened around 2 a.m. Friday at Creekwood Village Apartments in West Tuscaloosa.

When you pull out of Creekwood Village, it only takes around 15 seconds to arrive the Tuscaloosa Police Department’s West Precinct. This is where Wilder was taken by a group of loved ones after he was shot.

“They had driven to the precinct seeking aid or assistance,” Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Commander Capt. Jack Kennedy said. “The shooting victim was deceased or declared deceased soon thereafter.”

Police arrested a juvenile and charged the suspect with capital murder.

“That subject has now been committed to the Tuscaloosa County Jail without bond,” Kennedy said. “This subject is under the age of 18, and therefore I am not allowed, by law, to release any identifying information concerning them.”

Investigators said the capital offense comes from the fact that the shooting happened during a robbery.

“The suspect and Mr. Wilder knew each other,” Kennedy said. “It was a crime of opportunity. Completely unnecessary is what it was.”

District 1 Tuscaloosa City Council Member Matthew Wilson represents this area. He said he is devastated that another young life has been lost to gun violence.

“I am tired of it,” Wilson said. “It is not right. It is causing hurt. It is the cause of loss of life, and it has to stop. Parents, I want to challenge you to know what your children are doing, to know where they are at certain times at night. I am challenging young adults to be mindful that when you have guns in your hand, to know what you are doing. Gun violence isn’t the answer.”

Kennedy said more charges are possible in this case.

This is the 13th homicide investigation in Tuscaloosa County as of June 2023.

Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News