Nathan Wilkins, the suspect in the shooting at Tuscaloosa's Copper Top bar that left 17 people injured, is now also a suspect in a second arson investigation.
Tuscaloosa officials say a car was set on fire in Northport around 9:30 p.m. Monday, July 16. The vehicle belonged to one of Wilkin's former co-workers at a business in Brookwood, which was also set at fire around 3 a.m. Tuesday, July 17. Three trucks were pulled up into a building at the business and torched. So far, Wilkins has not been charged in either arson case.
The fires and shootings at Copper Top and a home in Northport all happened within six hours of each other. The shooting at a Northport home occurred at 11:40 p.m. Monday and the Copper Top bar shooting happened at 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.
Investigators say the arsons appear to be in retaliation for Wilkins getting fired from his job earlier this year after he got into a fist fight with a co-worker.
They also believe the shooting is the result of a mistaken identity and that wilkins was looking for someone at the home. When he didn't find him there, police say he moved on to the Copper Top bar.
"We're still trying to find the complete motive behind this," Sgt. Kip Hart. "But the actions would suggest since he had been dismissed from his job that he was striking back retaliation against those specific people he thought might have wronged him," Hart said.
The general manager of the Copper Top called Monday night's shooting a freak occurrance and says it's going to move forward. The bar re-opened for the first time since the shooting around 4 p.m. Friday.
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