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‘There for his children, there for his friends’: Red Cross volunteer father mourned after fatal shooting on I-59 in Birmingham

A Jefferson County man shot dead on Birmingham’s Interstate 59 is remembered as a devoted father and friend.

Justin Snow, 38, had just left a friend’s wedding on Saturday night when Birmingham police found him unresponsive inside his SUV after hitting the median. A bullet had passed through the passenger side window and Snow was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:04 p.m.

“It really comes as a shock,” said Seth Alexander, one of Snow’s close friends. “I’m still waiting for him to call me.”

West Precinct officers were dispatched just after 8 p.m. Saturday on southbound I-59 near the Arkadelphia Road exit. A passerby called 911 to report the vehicle on the road.

Officer Truman Fitzgerald said the victim – now identified as Snow – was found in the driver’s seat, apparently suffering from a gunshot wound. Investigators quickly located a bullet entry hole on the passenger side of the SUV.

“We believe this driver was shot while driving the vehicle,” Fitzgerald said.

Authorities said Snow was traveling in a white 2008 Ford Edge. Detectives believe he was traveling from downtown Birmingham heading south before the shooting.

Detectives are asking if anyone has dashcam footage of their trip on I-59 South from “downtown” between 7:15 and 7:45 p.m., please notify police as soon as possible.

sergeant. Rod Mauldin said investigators have yet to identify a motive, but have not ruled out road rage.

A Westside officer was dispatched just after 8 p.m. Saturday on I-59 just off Arkadelphia Road following a report of a shot person. They arrived to find a white SUV that had collided with the concrete median. (Carol Robinson)

Homicide on Interstate 59 May 14, 2022

A Westside officer was dispatched just after 8 p.m. Saturday on I-59 just off Arkadelphia Road following a report of a shot person. They arrived to find a white SUV that had collided with the concrete median. (Carol Robinson)

Alexander and Snow became friends right after Snow graduated from Jacksonville High School in Calhoun County. They and two others have moved into an apartment together.

“It was the start of a friendship that lasted nearly 20 years,” Alexander said. “We spoke daily.”

Snow worked for many years as an English teacher, including a posting in Colombia. His Facebook page says he was also active in disaster relief.

“He was just a really different kind of person,” Alexander said.

Debbie Looney, disaster program manager for the American Red Cross, said Snow volunteered for the Red Cross.

“I really enjoyed working with him. He had a positive attitude and responded to several calls from the Disaster Action Team,’ Looney said. “Justin really wanted to serve others and make their lives easier.”

In March 2020, one of their last conversations was about an organization he helped form called the ‘Quarantine Response Team of Birmingham’.

“He explained that the organization existed to serve people in Birmingham who were unable to leave their homes safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, collecting medicine, delivering groceries and meals, or simply being available to have a conversation,” Looney said. “Justin was passionate about this organization and he really wanted to make a difference. I think that shows what type of person Justin was.

Snow also volunteered at Christ Health Center in Birmingham during the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, helping with drive-through testing and possible vaccination.

Alexander said he and Snow bonded over their desire to be fathers and bonded more when they became fathers. Snow had a daughter and a son, both of elementary school age.

On the day Snow died, he went to his son’s noon football game and then to the 5 p.m. wedding. In the meantime, he made Door Dash deliveries to help defray the cost of the suit he bought for the wedding.

“He was there for his kids, there for his friends,” Alexander said. “He was just one of those guys who did the right thing.”

“When I spoke to him that day,” he said. “He was in a good mood and he said he would call me when he got home.”

Snow had a great sense of humor and loved “dad” jokes.

“He was my favorite person to tell jokes to,” Alexander said. “He would start laughing and couldn’t stop, and then you would laugh because he was laughing. He liked to laugh. »

More than anything, Alexander said, Snow loved being a father.

“He absolutely adored his kids,” he said. “He was very devoted to the people he loved.”

“He talked about the title of father like it was like being a king,” Alexander said. “That’s why I speak of him as a king. His reign did not last long enough.

Alexander says he wants to know who killed Snow and why.

“I don’t see how you could know the man and do that,” he said. “Why would you tear a father away from his children?”