Two Masked Men Shot During Robbery Attempt by Armed Victim in Birmingham; Victim Also Injured


BIRMINGHAM, AL – Authorities have identified the masked man killed during a suspected robbery in Birmingham’s Avondale community as Rufus Jermaine Brock, 34, a resident of Birmingham.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office confirmed Brock’s identity and noted that a second man initially reported dead was revived at UAB Hospital. His current condition remains unknown. The incident occurred around 11 a.m. Friday in the 4400 block of Fifth Avenue South, at the Oak Tree Apartments.

According to, in total, three people were shot. Brock and another suspect, both wearing black nylon masks, were believed to be attempting a robbery when they were confronted. Brock was pronounced dead at the scene, lying next to a work van. The third individual, who police believe was a victim of the robbery attempt, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Officer Truman Fitzgerald of the Birmingham Police Department indicated that the robbery was likely premeditated, as the suspects seemed to have specifically targeted the victim.

“This wasn’t a random act. These men, in 90-degree weather, were wearing ski masks. It’s clear what their intentions were,” Fitzgerald said.

The survivor’s account and witness testimonies suggest a chaotic scene with at least 13 shots fired. The police have yet to clarify the detailed sequence of events, but it appears that the masked men attempted to rob the third individual, who then defended himself, resulting in the shooting.

“This comes from a place of love: Young men, we live in Alabama where everybody has a gun,’’ Fitzgerald emphasized. “Before you think you can get the drop on somebody, remember that other person you think may be a victim, it doesn’t always turn out that way.”

Fitzgerald also highlighted the troubling trend of broad daylight crimes in Birmingham this summer, noting that this incident is one of seven justifiable homicides in the city this year.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Birmingham homicide detectives at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

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