The annual Auburn University vs. University of Alabama football game -- the "Iron Bowl" -- is a huge event for the state. Stores shut down. Church organists take the day off. Doctors switch on-call dates with fans of other football teams in other states. Even the inmates of the Alabama Department of Corrections are on their best behavior.
Too bad the same can't be said for all of the teams' fans. Harvey Updyke, sworn Alabama fan, was ordered last month to pay Auburn almost $800,000 in restitution for his 2010 "revenge" poisoning of the iconic Toomer's oak trees. Someone left cremains near Auburn's 40-yard line following the team's last-second victory ("It happens a lot more than you think," said Auburn's associate professor for turfgrass and weed science, which apparently is a thing).
And now, it seems, one Alabama fan has killed another for not being upset enough that their team lost.
Adrian Laroze Briskey, 28, was charged with murder today, accused of shooting Michelle Shepherd, 36, at an Iron Bowl party in Hoover, Alabama. Police have yet to reveal a motive, with Hoover police department chief telling The Birmingham News: "It's a shame two Alabama fans who didn't know each went to a party and literally two lives were lost."
Shepherd's sister, Neketa Shepherd, said that Briskey was furious with Michelle and others for joking that a Miami Heat loss would be more upsetting than Alabama's.
"I was saying I wasn't even mad (about the loss). Like when The Heat lost in game four, I was sick to my stomach,'' Neketa told The Birmingham News. "She started cursing. Her friends said she always did that when she got drunk and they took her outside."
The Shepherds left the party soon after. Briskey was still in the parking lot.
"She said we weren't real Alabama fans because it didn't bother us that they lost. And then she started shooting," Neketa told the AP.
Briskey, the AP said, has no criminal history -- just a few speeding tickets.
Michelle died at the scene in her sister's arms. She worked as a case manager for at-risk youth and young adults, and was a mother of three young children. Neketa said their father hasn't told them about their mother's death yet because he doesn't know how.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.