BRIGHTON, Ala. — People in Brighton are distraught, after an event created to bring the community closer ended in bloodshed. Yvette Avery told ABC 33/40 if it wasn't for Tony Hinkle, her grandchildren would be dead.
Yvette Avery said from her porch on Sunday, "And when the gunfire broke out, his life was taken pushing children out of the way." Avery said the courage of Hinkle is the only reason her grandchildren are not dead. "And that's just senseless," said Avery. "He died a hero, he really died a hero."
What began as a day of fellowship at the "Love Thy Neighbor" event, quickly turned into an evening of mourning on Saturday after Hinkle was killed and five total were shot.
Reverand Herman Henderson explained, "People were already fearful for their lives. And this particular incident the community came together to try to have a love day and here we go again with another senseless black on black crime."
For one grandmother struggling to come to grips with the tragedy, Avery explained Hinkle will always be in her heart. "I love him and I always will, and always thank him."
No word yet from family members of Hinkle as to when and if funeral arrangements have been made.