Dothan police chief, commissioner speak on two murders in one week

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — This week Dothan police have responded to two murders back to back.

The first murder took place on Scott Road Wednesday evening. The second murder happened the next day on the 700 blocks of Alabama Avenue in the Johnson Homes area.

“In April 2020 there was a surge of gun violence across the United States, Dothan did not see that surge like other parts of the country did. What we’re seeing now is just an increase,” Chief Will Benny said.

The victim in Thursday’s murder was Johnnie Settles. Settles was arrested in 2020 and charged with capital murder for a shooting in Cowarts. He was later released on bond.

Dothan Police Chief Will Benny says officers are looking at a possible connection between the Cowarts incident and Settles’ death.

“Really it’s too early to tell whether the victim’s involvement in the previous homicide had something to do with what happened to him last night,” Benny said. “That is something we are looking at and will be exploring that.”

The murder on Alabama Avenue is a part of district one which belongs to Commissioner Kevin Dorsey. Dorsey says it’s heartbreaking to see anyone lose their life to crime but this recent shooting hits a little closer to home.

“It’s really a sad day there are children in the area this is a public housing area with kids,” Commissioner Dorsey. “This could have went another way a bullet could have went through a wall window or door hit someone’s child ya know it’s just tedious.”

Chief Benny and city commissioners are working together to crack down on gun violence.

Both groups say there’s no place for violence of any kind in the Dothan.

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