Two men who had stopped in the Greater Cincinnati area on their way to Michigan from Alabama searching for work failed to find it, and things just got worse after that.
An argument over whether to return home to Alabama left one of them dead and the other in custody, charged with his murder.
In a statement, the Boone County Sheriff’s office indicated Tommy L. Hightower, 32 and Girlis H. Serratt, 36, both of Jasper Alabama, were on their way to Michigan to visit friends.
They “fell short” of their destination and decided to stop in the Tri-state to look for work. Thursday morning, they were on Interstate 71/75 southbound near Verona in Boone County, when the report states they began arguing over whether to continue to seek employment in the area, or return to Alabama.
Hightower, the driver of the vehicle, then called 911 to report that he shot Serratt, but was still driving on the intestate. Dispatchers instructed him to take the Verona exit, as law enforcement officers responded to the area.
Boone County Sheriff’s deputies located the vehicle in the parking lot of a Shell gas station and took Hightower into custody without incident. Serratt was transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.
Hightower is charged with one count of murder and is lodged in the Boone County Detention Center.
Serratt’s next of kin has been notified.
The original release from the Boone County Sheriff’s office, and an update, are included below:
On Thursday, June 3, 2021 at approximately 8:36AM, Boone County Sheriff’s Office
deputies were dispatched to southbound I-75/71 regarding a person who was reportedly
shot inside of a moving vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle called Boone County Public Safety Communications Center
(P.S.C.C.) just after the shooting took place. The driver told P.S.C.C. that he shot the
passenger in the vehicle and was still driving southbound on the interstate.
He was instructed by dispatchers to take the Verona exit from southbound I-71 as deputies were staged in the area. The driver exited at Verona and pulled into the Shell gas station. The
suspect immediately complied with deputies and was taken into custody.
The victim was transported by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased.
The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are interviewing the suspect and currently
withholding his name as the investigation continues. Additionally, detectives are
attempting to positively identify the victim and make notification to his next of kin. There
were no other passengers in the vehicle and no other reported injuries.
UPDATE: Detectives learned that the suspect, Tommy L. Hightower, 32 of Jasper,
Alabama and the victim, Girlis H. Serratt, 36 of Jasper, Alabama were originally
traveling from Alabama to Michigan to visit friends.
Their trip fell short of Michigan and both decided to seek employment in the tristate area. Just before the shooting occurred, Hightower and Serratt were verbally arguing in the vehicle because Hightower wanted to remain in the area to find a job but Serratt wanted to go back home to Alabama.
Tommy L. Hightower is charged with one (1) count of Murder and is currently lodged at
the Boone County Detention Center. Next of kin for Girlis Serratt was notified.
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