A sheriff’s office in Alabama has been shaken to its “very core” after one of its deputies who was dating a dispatcher pulled out a gun during an “apparent argument,” shot the victim to death, and then turned the gun on himself.
Dispatcher Alexis “Lexi” White was just 23 years old when she was shot by K9 deputy Kenneth “Kenny” Booth Jr. in the common area of a condo at the Seaside Beach & Racquet Club, a waterfront property on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, according to club employees who provided the details of the shooting to local CBS affiliate WKRG.
Orange Beach Police reportedly responded to the tragic scene around 2:45 a.m. on Thursday.
Later Thursday, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, citing information obtained from the police department, said that an “apparent argument seemingly escalated to a point” where Booth “drew a weapon and killed the victim” before ending his own life.
Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said Thursday that the office was “devastated” and shocked to “our very core” after learning from the Orange Beach Police Department of the violent deaths of two of their own.
“Our family here at the Sheriff’s Office is devastated. We are all in shock and saddened to our very core,” the sheriff said. “Our hearts go out to the families of all those involved. I would ask that everyone join me in praying for the families, and for everyone here at the Sheriff’s Office.”
Gentry said that Lexi White had worked at the sheriff’s office since she was 16 years old.
“She was a charter member in our Youth Leadership Academy, and was involved in every one after that – either as a participant, or coach,” the sheriff said. “There are not enough words to express what she and her family mean to me. I am literally heartbroken. I feel like Lexi is one of my own kids.”
On at least one occasion, Lexi White posted heart emojis while sharing a photo of Sheriff Gentry with his cowboy hat off and solemnly bowing his head.
“When a photo speaks volumes,” the photographer captioned the image.
Hope Cochran posted online that she was “lost for words” after learning that Lexi, someone she played softball with as a kid, was shot multiple times and killed.
“I’m so grateful I had the privilege to play softball with Lexi *bottom right* growing up. It never seems right when a life is taken too young,” Cochran said, asking all to pray for Lexi White’s family.
She also shared a softball photo with her from their youth.
The shooting has also shaken local Cullman cops.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Cullman County Sheriffs Office, and to the families of the individuals involved,” the Cullman Police Department also said on the murder-suicide.
At least one person who viewed Kenny Booth as a “brother and a friend” said that he was a “guy that you had to beg to be physical on a football field in full pads you never heard him raise his voice to anybody if anything you had to ask him to speak up!”
“All I ask is before you judge ask anybody that knew him what they thought of Kenny and I GUARANTEE they will all say the same thing he was great guy that would give you the shirt off his back!” said Ryan Sikes. “What happened is tragic and I’ll be praying for both families involved. 🙏🙏”
Booth’s mother Adrean Miller Booth posted Friday that “there are a LOT of false and untrue statements being said and [that] the truth will come out” about the Thursday shooting. “I will release a statement at a later time when it is appropriate but today is not that day.”
She said her son “was welcomed into heaven and SAW Jesus for the first time,” and that her heart “is forever broken.”
“He is my absolute world,” she said, adding: “I beg for prayers.”
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