Shooting in Tuscaloosa

A gunman opened fire in a crowded bar early Tuesday, sending bullets flying into crowds of people, glass shards and chunks of brick fell all around the bar, at least 17 were injured.

Police think that the gunman fired through the glass of the double French doors at the front of the building and from a door on the side of the building. Witnesses said it sounded like automatic gunfire and thought the shooting would never end, they said there would be a pause and then it would start again.

Before he went on a shooting spree at the bar Nathan Van Wilkins wounded his first victim at the house he lives in with three other roommates. Brian Felton said he heard gunshots and found one of his roommates with a gunshot wound. The wounded roommate, who is white, and said Wilkins was looking for their black roommate, and when he found out the black roommate wasn’t there Wilkins made a racial slur and shot the roommate that answered the door.

Nathan Van Wilkins, 44, surrendered after the 2nd shooting. Police say that they aren’t sure what his motives were but say there were signs that his life was unraveling. He was divorced in 2005 from his wife of 16 years and last year a credit union tried to garnish his wages to collect a debt of more than $15,000 but couldn’t because he had declared bankruptcy. Wilkins also talked about being high on drugs during the shootings.

Wilkins is also suspected of setting 3 fires to equipment at his former place of employment, an oil and gas company. Around 3 a.m Tuesday, a volunteer fire chief received a call stating that there were fires at two  Capstone Oilfield locations in Brookwood. A Capstone car was also set on fire in Northport.

Wilkins is being charged with 18 counts attempted murder and is being held on a $2 million bond. It is unknown if Wilkins has an attorney.