Alabama State University graduate killed in Shelby County murder-suicide

Alabama State University graduate killed in Shelby County murder-suicide

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A longtime Alabama educator has been identified as one of two people killed in an apparent murder-suicide at a Shelby County apartment.

Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans identified the victims as Tracy Ford, 42, and Timothy Ackers, 35. Evans said the deadly dispute was domestic related and both were shot. Ford was the victim of a homicide and Ackers’ fatal injury was self-inflicted, she said. Both men lived at the apartment.

Shelby County sheriff’s deputies responded to Brook Highland Place apartments shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday after receiving a third-party call in reference to an altercation inside a home there. The complex is located on Meadow Drive off Brook Highland Parkway.

When deputies entered the residence after 10 p.m., they found Ford and Ackers dead inside.

Ford’s former brother-in-law, Perry County Commissioner Albert Turner Jr., said Ford was a graduate of R.C. Hatch High School in Uniontown. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

“Our family is in shock after receiving the news of Tracy’s loss. It is a very sad day for us all,’’ Turner said in a Facebook post. “Tracy was the life of the family get-togethers, and his loss will be huge. I ask for prayers for the entire family at this time and respect for the family’s privacy as we deal with this sudden loss of our brother, uncle and friend.”

Ford is the former principal at Robinson Elementary School in Fairfield and currently served as the school system’s human resources director. He previously worked in Montgomery. Ford had graduated from Alabama State University and then obtained his master’s degree from Troy University.

“This is going to be felt around the state because of all the lives he touched,’’ said close friend and colleague Walter Gonsoulin, who formerly served as superintendent for Fairfield City Schools and now is interim superintendent at Jefferson County Schools. “Tracy was family. I still can’t believe it.”

Gonsoulin described Ford as a fine, intelligent person. “Children and faculty alike loved him,’’ he said. “When you met it him, it was hard not to like him.”

Current Fairfield Superintendent Regina Thompson said all of the school district’s counselors, as well as counselors from Midfield City Schools, were on hand Monday to help anyone in need of assistance coping with Ford’s death. “It’s a very hard hit, ” Thompson said. “The district is really struggling at this time.”

Ford served as principal at Robinson Elementary for several years before he was moved to the central office as the director of HR as well as data analysis in January 2019. Thompson praised his work. “He really revamped the system, did some wonderful things,” she said. “He was a big component in us moving forward.”

“Because of his position, he touched everyone in the district,” she said. “We continue to pray for his family.”