Shooting at Evolve Tuscaloosa injures one, almost catches UA student in crossfire

Jacob Ritondo, Assistant News Editor

A shooting took place the night of April 23 in the parking deck of the Evolve Tuscaloosa apartment complex on Jack Warner Parkway, resulting in a non-life-threatening injury to at least one person.  

The shooting at Evolve Tuscaloosa was one of two that occurred that night, the other occurred at Aspen Village Apartments and led to a single fatality 

Both shootings occurred one day after rumors began to float around social media about potential shootings in Tuscaloosa after large crowds flooded the Strip during A-Day. 

An Evolve Tuscaloosa resident and student at the University witnessed the shooting in the Evolve parking garage and the presence of armed individuals in the area, wishing to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation. 

The resident said that had Evolve addressed several faulty security features, such as a consistently unlocked main gate to the complex, this shooting might never have happened. Several days after the shooting, these faults remain seemingly unaddressed. 

The witness awoke from a nap around 6 p.m. by the sound of a group of drivers revving their engines and speeding outside his window; several cars then pulled into the parking garage, where individuals began dancing suggestively on top of cars on the top level as well as flashing stacks of cash.  

At 6:48 p.m., officers responded to a call about approximately 200 cars pulling into the parking garage of the Evolve complex in rapid succession, Tuscaloosa Police Department spokesperson Stephanie Taylor said. This call was not made by the witness. 

The witness left his apartment to move his car from the top floor but encountered a man with a gun in his pocket acting as a “makeshift traffic guard” in the intersection next to the garage. The man waved others aside and allowed the witness to pass through.

Before entering a different level of the garage to repark his car, the witness alerted the police of what he had seen. 

Satellite imagery detailing the scene according to witness and police reports. / Jacob Ritondo

While exiting the parking garage, the witness, carrying his own concealed firearm, overheard an argument. One of the individuals involved then pulled out a gun. The witness heard multiple gunshots before exiting the parking garage. 

As he returned to his apartment, he saw multiple men standing beside their parked cars on the top level of the parking garage pull out guns. The witness also saw another man by the complex’s dumpster carrying an AR-15-style weapon. 

At 7:01 p.m., callers to TPD and an officer on the scene reported hearing gunshots from the parking deck. Taylor said that an officer later found shell casings and a bullet hole in a parked car on the top level.  

A victim of the shooting was treated at and released from Druid City Hospital. 

The witness said he believes the shooting could’ve been prevented if the complex’s security measures worked properly. According to the witness, the gates have not consistently worked for the past two semesters. 

Other safety measures, including a passcode-locked door to the apartment buildings and the gate to the pool, have also not been functional. These security measures have been unlocked for almost all of the resident’s stay at Evolve. 

“Evolve is a gated complex, and that’s one of the main reasons why I chose it, thinking it’s going to be a really safe place to live,” the witness said. 

Evolve sent residents an email on Nov. 6, 2022, stating it would fix all security issues. However, these safety features were still not fixed at the time of the shooting. 

The witness said Evolve told him there are no security cameras in the parking deck and the complex’s security guard was not there at the time of the incident. 

Evolve has not responded to multiple requests from The Crimson White for a comment on this incident.   

“They told me they were going to send an email statement [about the shooting] to all the residents,” he said. “That still hasn’t happened and there’s been no mention about anything related to it. So, it kind of feels like they’re trying to sweep it under the rug.” 

The witness said Evolve “barely apologized” to him about the shooting and safety concerns.