Update at 9:40 a.m.: Police have identified the suspect as Kenneth Dion Lever. He is 5’10, 220 pounds and has blue eyes and brown hair. “If you see this individual do not approach and call 9-1-1. He is considered armed and dangerous,” police announced.
Original article continues below:
Lawmen have descended on Gardendale as officers search for the person who killed three people this morning at a mobile home park.
The incident happened in the 4100 block of Willow Bend Drive in the Peachtree Crossings community shortly after 8 a.m. Police believe the shooting was domestic-related.
The suspect, a 52-year-old white male from Florida who is armed with a handgun, fled into the woods. A perimeter is being established. He has blonde hair, blue eyes and was wearing a camouflage t-shirt and blue jeans, according to a BOLO on police radio.
His car was found off of Green Chapel Road, on the backside of the mobile home park.
Gardendale police, Kimberly police and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office have set up a perimeter. A sheriff’s tracking dog is on the ground.
Police issued this statement just before 9:30 a.m.: “Gardendale Police Department is working an active shooter situation at Glenn Chapel Rd. and Willow Bend Dr. We ask that all citizens in this the Peach Tree community shelter in place. More information to follow.”
Police identified the suspect as Kenneth Dion Lever, 52, of Florida.
A protection from abuse order was issued against Lever in December 2016 in Jefferson County.
Lever’s wife or ex-wife claimed that Lever was abusing her 11-year-old daughter during unsupervised visitation. The girl, according to public records, had been seeing a therapist and the therapist called the mother with concerns. “My daughter has a different disposition when she returns home,” the woman wrote.
“She is very clingy to me and will not let me leaver her. She wants to sleep in my bed and she wants to sleep with the lights on.
According to that PFA request and other public records, Lever has charges pending in Pennsylvania for sexual abuse with a minor.
Lever was charged by Lower Windsor Township Police, York County, Pa., on Sept. 28, 2015 and Oct. 13, 2015 in two separate sexual assault cases, according to records obtained by The York Daily Record.
In both cases, Lever was charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, indecent assault person less than 13 years of age, corruption of minors, and distribution of explicit sexual material of a minor.
Lever was placed in York County Prison on Oct. 12, 2015, on the first case on $100,000 and was bailed out the next day. He was again jailed on Oct. 15, and posted an additional $100,000 and released later the same day.
The cases are scheduled for jury trial in York County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 11, according to online court dockets.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
AL.com reporter Ivana Hrynkiw contributed to this report.