The son of St. Clair County District Attorney Lyle Harmon was shot and killed Tuesday night off of Kelly Creek Rd. near the Valero Truck Stop in Moody.
Nicholas Sloan “Boo” Harmon, 20, of Pell City was pronounced dead on the scene at 11:15 p.m. by St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell.
According to Russell, Harmon died as a result of a single gunshot wound. Harmon’s body has been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy.
“This is the son of a co-worker and dear friend to all of us that was tragically killed,” said St. Clair County Sheriff Billy Murray in a press conference Wednesday morning. “This was a very good person, a very good man that was headed to a good life. And the world is going to be a bit worse off without Sloan, or as we affectionately call him ‘Boo,’ who celebrated his 20th birthday Oct. 31 this year.”
Murray said a Moody Police Officer responded to what he thought was a traffic accident at the Valero Truck Stop at Exit 147 around 10:55 p.m. Tuesday night. Harmon’s vehicle had left Kelly Creek Road coming from Moody and crashed into the guidewire of a utility pole in the area of the truckstop. The officer found Harmon alone inside the vehicle and determined he had been shot.
A joint investigation involving the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, Moody Police Department, Pell City Police Department, and multiple other agencies led to the arrest of two individuals in connection with the case, which is still under investigation.
“There is evidence to be processed on three scenes that are several miles apart,” Sheriff Murray stated. “As in any investigation it’s going to take time and effort and we simply could not do it as quickly and efficiently without all the help that has been offered.”
The three scenes include the location where Harmon was found, and the two locations where the individuals were arrested.
Murray stated this is a very complex investigation and will be for some time. More information will be released as it becomes available.
Murray wouldn’t speculate on what led to the incident.
“How the investigation began as a traffic accident and from investigating that we were able to see many other factors involved, but I wouldn’t want to say exactly why this occurred,” Murray said. “I can only say that we are diligently trying to put the pieces together.”
Moody Police Chief Thomas Hunt said one of the individuals was detained during the night and the second was detained early Wednesday morning.
“[Harmon] was a good man, a great citizen of St. Clair County and great serviceman of his country,” Hunt said.
Harmon was a Pell City High School graduate and was named a distinguished honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force tech program. He was Airman 1st Class of the 117th Air Refueling Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard in Birmingham and student at Jefferson State Community College. He recently flew a solo flight and was working toward obtaining his pilots license.
“In my 27 years of law enforcement, the last 11 hours have been some of the most difficult,” Murray said. “I want to thank numerous sheriffs around the state that have reached out to offer assistance. This is a very difficult time and very difficult investigate.”
According to Murray, the investigation began prior to 11 p.m. with a considerable effort to locate individuals in the area during the time of the shooting, their whereabouts and what their involvement could be in this “very tedious and complex investigation.”
“Law enforcement is not an easy job but I will just say this, if you look at what has happened nationally, law enforcement has been a profession that has been under siege,” Murray said in response to a question during the press conference. “But I can tell you the last 12 hours I have witnessed what the best of the best can do when any agency simply works together with another, so I am very proud of everybody that they are willing to put it on the line to protect and serve. That’s what we get paid for. Certainly, it has been a tough night, but we will all give our due diligence to do the job we have sworn to do.”