A Cherokee County man has been arrested and charged with murder – in connection with a shooting during a party taking place last weekend in Etowah County. Darren Isaiah Higgins – 24 of Centre – was booked in at the Etowah County Detention Center at 6:10pm Tuesday.
He stands charged with murder in the shooting death of 18 year old Kalab Blake Whitworth – who was awaiting a 2020 trial for murder in a 2018 shooting death of another teen.
According to reports Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Deputies along with Attalla Police were dispatched to a report of a shooting at 525 Country Road shortly before 2:00am Sunday; by the time law enforcement arrived at the location, two individuals suffering gunshot wounds had already been transported by private vehicle to separate hospitals.
Alli Grace Tucker, age 21 of Crossville went to Gadsden Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for a gunshot wound below the knee. She was released shortly thereafter. The other person, identified as Whitworth, was taken to Riverview Regional and from there was transferred to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where he died during surgery.
Investigators say it appears Higgins arrived at the party about an hour prior to the shooting – and following his arrest at his job on Tuesday, Higgins reportedly told officers a fight took place between himself and three other individuals at the party. He said during the fight, he fell to the floor with his gun also falling to the floor and when he picked up the weapon – he fired off one round. That bullet struck Whitworth in the chest, then exited his back striking Tucker in the leg below the knee.
Police say anywhere from 80 to 100 people were at that party – and following the gunshot, everyone scattered, leaving the scene. Whitworth was among those charged in connection with the January 4th, 2018 shooting death of 18 year old Aaron Joe (A.J.) Huff in Gadsden.
He was set to go on trial in January of 2020; Sheriff Jonathon Horton said Whitworth was an innocent bystander when he was shot and killed last weekend.
At the time of his arrest Higgins had an outstanding probation violation in Cherokee County on a marijuana charge. He also faces additional charges for the wounding of Tucker.
He is currently being held on a $250,000 bond for the murder charge.