4 teens – including two 16-year-olds – charged in killing of 18-year-old inside Bessemer Comfort Inn | #schoolshooting

Four teens have been charged in the fatal shooting of another teen inside a Bessemer motel room in what the victim’s mother has called a setup.

Orlando Keith Williams Jr., 18, was shot inside the second-floor Comfort Inn hotel room at 11:03 p.m. Saturday, April 10. He was pronounced dead on the scene at 11:32 p.m.

Bessemer police have charged John Christopher Taylor-Wilson and Tyriq McCall, both 19, with murder. Taylor-Wilson was booked into the Jefferson County Jail Monday and remains held on $60,000. McCall was taken into custody Thursday.

Two 16-year-olds, both arrested Wednesday, also are charged with murder. Their names are not yet being released because of their ages but police said they are charged as adults.

McCall and the two juveniles have no bond. More arrests are possible, said Lt. Christian Clemons.

Williams’ mother, April Chaney, spoke with AL.com the day after her son’s death. She said she was heartbroken and believes he was set up to be killed following many months of an ongoing feud in which two other young men have been killed and multiple shots fired in the Bessemer area.

“Half these children that were in that room grew up at my mama’s front door. They set my baby up. They played him,’’ Chaney said in that interview. “I treated them like they were my children and they stole my baby’s life.’’

A shooting inside Bessemer’s Comfort Inn on Saturday, April 10, 2021 left one person dead.

Williams was one of several people wounded in October when his friend, 18-year-old Mikel Cooper, a senior at Bessemer City High School, was fatally shot. That shooting happened at 5:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 15th Street North in Bessemer. Cooper died on the scene and three other teens, including the 16-year-old suspect, were wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Williams was shot as well as a 13-year-old.

The deadly shooting was followed by at least five other shootings that police believe are in retaliation for the killing of Cooper. One person – a grandmother – was injured in one of those shootings. They happened both in Bessemer and Brighton.

Chaney said she also believes it was also connected to January killing of 19-year-old Mikel Ja’Darius Pickens. That shooting was reported to have happened at Urban Market Grocery Store at 200 Ninth Street South.

She said her son went the Comfort Inn to gamble. “They knew he loved to gamble. That was his weakness,’’ she said. “I said, ‘Why are you hanging with them? They don’t mean you no good.’ He said, ‘Mama, I’m not going to let them kill me.’’’

Chaney said she called her son shortly before 11 p.m. “I could hear scuffling and then the phone went out,’’ she said. “I called back, and he didn’t answer. Then my sister called me and said, ‘Get to the Comfort Inn. Your son has been shot.’”

Chaney said she’s thankful the arrests have been made, but said she’s not going to stop fighting until the violence in Bessemer subsides.

“If they got four, they got 44 more to go,’’ she said Thursday night. “I need them to make as much progress as they can.”

“I’m gonna get justice,’’ Chaney said, “because I’m not going to stop. I’m going to stop the killing in Bessemer.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Bessemer police at 425-2411, the Tip Line at 205- 428-3541 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

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