Crime Stoppers June 5: Police continue to need your help solving a January murder

Suspect in Bessemer grocery store murder

Crime Stoppers continues to ask for anonymous tips to help detectives identify and locate suspects in a Bessemer grocery store robbery that killed one employee Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. A higher-than-usual reward will be offered for tips leading to an arrest.{}

Shortly before 6:45 am, surveillance video shows two armed suspects, both black males, running towards Torme Associated Foods Store in Bessemer. An employee had just arrived, and two more were inside.

"They come in and they take the employee by gunpoint through the back door into a storage area, where they corral the two that they had found," said Sgt. Brian Allison.

One suspect shot an employee in the leg, and another forced employee Horace Smith towards what serves as the manager's office inside the store.

"The assailants shoot Horace in the leg, and at that point, Smith figures he doesn't have anything to lose and begins to fight back," said Sgt. Allison. "Unfortunately, he is shot and killed."

Sgt. Allison said the suspect who killed Smith was not holding the weapon in an expected way: "He's not holding it at arm's length. He's holding it in what we call a combat or tactical position. He's had some type of training to be able to come in and operate a firearm from this position."

If you have heard or seen anything that could help in this case, call Crime Stoppers at the contact information listed below.{} Remember, all calls are anonymous.{} And if your tip leads to an arrest, detectives will give you a cash reward.

TO PROVIDE A TIP ON THE CASE:{} You can reach Crime Stoppers anytime at (205) 254-7777.

Also, you can text 7777, along with your tip, to the word "CRIMES."{} Or if you prefer to send an encrypted tip online, go to and click on the "submit an online tip" link.

No matter which method you choose, you will remain anonymous.{} Each tipster receives a private code number.{} If an arrest is made based on an individual's tip, the tipster can use the code number to claim a cash reward.

Crime Stoppers cannot call tipsters to testify in court.

Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama is a partnership between local law enforcement, the Birmingham Business Alliance and ABC 33/40.{} Together, our goal is to make our community a safer place to live and work.