Man accused of murdering 64-year-old Army veteran in driveway arrested

Joseph Cook Jr., who turned 18 several weeks ago, was taken into custody by the Birmingham Police Department's Crime Reduction Team on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, in the shooting death of 64-year-old Calvin Gunn. (Birmingham Police)

Police in Alabama have arrested a suspect in the weekend slaying of an Army veteran who was beloved by his entire community.

64-year-old Calvin Gunn was shot and killed in his driveway during an apparent robbery attempt Saturday night. 18-year-old Joseph Cook Jr. was arrested Wednesday by Birmingham police and charged with capital murder.

They say Cook ambushed Gunn and his wife as they were returning home. According to WAFF, a home surveillance camera captures Cook committing the crime.

Joseph Cook Jr. (Birmingham Police)

Calvin died trying to protect his wife, police said. Not only was he an Army veteran, but Gunn was also a family man, an upstanding citizen, and a longtime City of Birmingham employee who recently retired.

“He would give you the shirt off his back. He wouldn’t harm a flea,” neighbor William Mosley said.

Another neighbor told the local Fox station that Gunn would often park his car in front of her house as a deterrent to would be thieves. “And he would just kind of protect me and I thought the world of that,” she said.

Gunn’s widow told “I’m up and I’m going to stay up until we get this taken care of because I can’t afford to be down…If I don’t do it for nobody else, I’ve got to do it for him. I’m going to fight and we’re going to do what we have to do, even if it takes me down too.”

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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