Fort Deposit funeral shooter sentenced

Published 8:05 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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A Montgomery man convicted of causing a disruption during a Fort Deposit memorial service was sentenced to 120 months in prison on Aug. 7.

According to U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart, Gerald Dyron Little, 42, received a 10-year term for illegally possessing ammunition he used during a shooting at a funeral. The judge ordered Little to serve three years of supervised release after his prison sentence.

Little will serve his entire 10-year sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.

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“It goes without saying that mourners should not have to fear gun violence when they gather to honor and remember a loved one,” Stewart said. “It is my hope that this prosecution will serve as a reminder that there is no place in our communities for actions like those Little took. My office is committed to ensuring that those who possess firearms and ammunition unlawfully, especially those who do so in a way that causes harm to others, are held accountable.”

Little was tried in March for the June 26, 2021 shooting. Evidence and court records presented at the trial outline the details of Little’s actions at a memorial service for his step-uncle, James Gipson. Little caused a disturbance during the service and was asked by family to leave.

Witness testimony describes Little initially complying with the request but returning later accompanied by a black female.

The two argued with family members. The argument escalated and Little discharged a handgun.

The deceased person’s brother, Jerry Gibson, was fatally injured when bullets struck him and three other funeral attendees. Shell casings recovered from the scene were proved to have come from ammunition possessed by Little and used during the shooting.

Little has one previous felony conviction and by federal law is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Alabama charges related to the shooting are pending.

“This prohibited person showed total disregard for the law and committed an inhumane act of violence against an innocent group of grieving people,” said Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the ATF and our valued law enforcement partners in their efforts to confront violent crime. We will continue to work collaboratively and tirelessly to keep our communities safe from people who endanger our neighborhoods.”

The Fort Deposit Police Department investigated the case in cooperation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives with assistance from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a Department of Justice (DOJ) program partnering all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and create safer neighborhoods.

In 2017 the DOJ revived the program as part of a renewed focus on targeting violent criminals and directed all U.S. Attorneys to work with federal, state, local, and tribal agencies and local communities to develop effective, locally based violent crime reduction strategies.