Community mourns the murder of restaurant owner, brother charged - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Community mourns the murder of restaurant owner, brother arrested

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CRAWFORD, AL (WTVM) -

A Crawford, Alabama family is coming to terms with the tragic loss of a man they call a pillar in the community.

In this developing story, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor tells News Leader 9's Brittany Dionne that Archie Smith's life was possibly taken over trivial issues.

"It's horrible. How could this happen? It was just a pretty day yesterday and everything just went black," says the victim's cousin Miko Mitchell.

Sheriff Taylor confirms Larry Smith has been arrested for shooting his older brother Archie Smith Senior with a shotgun during an altercation.

"Where it happened at, he built that porch with that pretty ramp on it, Archie did that," Mitchell sobs.

Archie was known for fixing up homes around the community and running a restaurant with his wife.

Friends report the parking lot would usually be packed around lunch time with lunchgoers looking for what they call some of the best homemade food in Crawford. Now, the doors are locked and the business Archie worked so hard to open has a sign that says 'Closed til further notice'.

"He's a go to guy. He's always in a good disposition. You don't really see any problems with him. He's helpful."

Authorities say they believe alcohol was involved in the shooting and that the brothers had a troubled relationship.

A friend of Archie's says he didn't drink.

"I couldn't believe it. I couldn't accept the fact that he was gone. I seen [sic] him the night before and the next day when I got off of work I saw the restaurant was closed," the victim's friend Larry Gamble says. "He was my best friend. Archie was a great guy. He was a good family man, good provider, and hard worker."

"You know we're mad a second, then we're cool but something goes down we stick together," says Mitchell

Sticking together is what the family says they plan to do during this difficult time.

Mitchell says she'll always be grateful for the kindness her cousin showed her.

"Thank you. Thank you so much. You're going to be missed so much," Mitchell says.

When asked what the suspect said when he was arrested, Taylor would not elaborate but did say he has shown remorse.

Larry Smith's is charged with murder. He's being held in the Russell County Jail pending a preliminary hearing.   

An autopsy is expected back in the next couple of days.

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