8:30PM UPDATE (WKRG)- News 5 has confirmed that Kenneth Lever met with a minister after making his way back into northwest Florida today. Gardendale Police told reporters that meeting “kinda told us this was going to be the end.” (referring to Lever’s suicide).
6PM UPDATE (WKRG/AP) — A man wanted in the fatal shooting of his ex-wife and two other people near Birmingham, Alabama, has killed himself in Escambia County on the Gulf Coast.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office confirms to News 5 that Kenneth Lever, the triple murder suspect wanted in central Alabama, has committed suicide at the Navy Federal Headquarters in Escambia County. We’re told Lever got out of a car and took his own life, but it wasn’t immediately clear how.
On Wednesday afternoon, Lever was said to be driving down 9 Mile Road in Pensacola, when an off-duty officer recognized Lever’s vehicle from the alert sent out to authorities earlier in the day. The officer began pursuing Lever and called in additional law enforcement support.
Lever found himself to be surrounded, and reportedly pulled into the Navy Federal parking lot, where the suicide took place.
Authorities had been searching for Lever since three people were shot to death Wednesday morning at a mobile home park in the Birmingham suburb of Gardendale. The dead include ex-wife Dana Reeves Lever, who filed court papers accusing the man of stalking and harassing her.
UPDATE: Gardendale Police have identified the victims as 50-year-old Dana Reeves Lever, 65-year-old Bonnie Reeves Foshee, and 69-year-old Don Austin Foshee.
UPDATE: The man wanted for killing three people in Gardendale Wednesday morning is said to be driving a new getaway vehicle. See the tweet below for details on Kenneth Lever’s vehicle description.
New update on triple homicide case from this morning: Suspect vehicle is a 2017 red Nissan Sentra Georgia tag# RGC6858. If you see this vehicle, do not approach and call 9-1-1.
– From Gardendale Police Facebook Page
GARDENDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — A manhunt is underway for a man wanted for killing three people in the Birmingham area Wednesday morning, and authorities say the suspect could be headed to the Gulf Coast.
Police originally focused their search in a wooded area near a mobile home park in Gardendale, about 15 miles north of Birmingham.
The suspect, identified as 51-year-old Kenneth Dion Lever, is from Pace, Florida and could be returning to the area.
Lever was booked in Santa Rosa County, Florida in 2015 for an out-of-state fugitive warrant that originated from York, Pennsylvania on charges related to a child sex crime.
Authorities say Lever may be driving a black 1986 Chevy Camaro or a white 1999 Honda Accord.
Earlier on Wednesday, reporter Alex Finnie from CBS affiliate WIAT tweeted pictures and video from the scene near the Peachtree Crossing Trailer Park.
— Alex Finnie (@AlexCFinnie) July 12, 2017
Gardendale Police Chief Mike Walker believes this may have been a domestic crime and that all three victims may be related, according to WIAT.
Lever’s wife had obtained a protective order against him because she feared for the safety of her daughter, according to court documents filed in Jefferson County, Alabama.
A Florida man sought in a triple killing near Birmingham, Alabama, is just weeks away from standing trial on child sex charges in Pennsylvania.
Court records in York County, Pennsylvania, show 52-year-old Kenneth Dion Lever of Santa Rosa County, Florida, is scheduled to go on trial there on Sept. 11.
Lever was arrested in 2015 on charges that he sexually molested a young girl for more than five years ending in August 2010, sometimes forcing a young boy to participate in the assaults.
Lever has been free on bond awaiting a court date.
Police in Gardendale, Alabama, have identified the man as a suspect in the fatal shootings of three adult relatives on Wednesday morning.
Authorities say they believe Lever is driving a red Nissan Sentra rental car with a Georgia license plate. They say he could be headed to the Florida Panhandle.