A man accused of killing an HPD officer was accused of shooting two people last year

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Juan Laws, the man accused of killing a Huntsville police officer on Tuesday, was already facing charges for shooting two people in downtown Huntsville last year.

The case was assigned to a Madison County grand jury, but there are no court records showing the case made it to the grand jury.

Family members of the two men shot dead in January 2022 outside Sammy T’s in Huntsville were stunned Tuesday night to see Laws was charged with the capital murder of a law enforcement officer.

News 19 spoke Wednesday with Trey Brown, one of the men who was shot that night, and Rhonda Hughes, whose son was the other victim.

“We left Sammy T’s and one of his buddies ran into one of my buddies leaving the bar,” Brown said. “And we got out on the road and the cops were already there. They had separated us. And we were parked in the Goodyear parking lot and we were heading to our cars to leave. When Laws came from behind us with his gun and the cops were right between us, he was there, and he still pulled it out and fired six times. Two bullets hit me and my cousin.

Brown said it all happened quickly.

“I didn’t even realize I had been shot until I looked down and saw the blood flowing and saw my cousin lying on the ground,” he said.

His aunt Rhonda Hughes learned that her son had been shot and was at risk of surgery.

“It’s a call no mother wants to get,” Hughes said. “I can say that it was one of the worst nights of my life, not knowing what state my son was going to be in when I arrived at the hospital.”

He was seriously injured, missed months of work, but is alive

“My son was shot in the leg, he now has a knee to ankle shank,” Hughes said.

Trey Brown was shot in the calf.

“The ball is still in my leg, it’s on the back of my Achilles,” he said. “It took me weeks to start walking normally again with it, being on my Achilles. And it took my cousin months to get surgery and stuff.

The police report says officers saw the shooting.

“A subject (Laws) separated from one of the groups and went to his vehicle to retrieve a handgun,” the report said. “Laws then approached this group and checked another person from this group. This subject turned around and pushed Laws out of his mind. The assailant then pulled a black handgun from his belt and fired six shots, hitting the victim and another person. I saw Laws with the handgun in hand as well as the muzzle flash on the first shot.

The report says the shooting was captured by the officers’ body cameras. The report says Laws put the gun back in his belt and ran, but officers chased and grabbed him.

He was charged with two counts of second degree assault.

“He was apprehended and he was released on $6,000 bond, which means $600 got him out in two hours,” Hughes said. “My son hadn’t even had surgery and he was discharged.”

Hughes said she was grateful for the actions of the police the night her son was shot, but wondered if the justice system had acted faster, could the tragedy that unfolded on Tuesday have been avoided.

“We didn’t even go to court for my son and my nephew and now he killed an officer… and you look at the situation of all the other people who were in danger in this apartment complex. Those babies thrown out the window. I mean it should never have happened. I just don’t get it,” she said.

Huntsville Police Department records show Laws had 75 rounds of ammunition the night he was arrested in front of Sammy T.

Court records show he was in Madison County District Court last week and pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon without a license. That accusation dates back to March 2022, records show. He paid $300 in fines and court costs and had to surrender the gun. Arrest records show the weapon he was accused of carrying last March was a Glock 9mm pistol.


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