A 46-year-old man has been sentenced to prison for a 2018 shooting at a Birmingham body shop that injured himself and the business owner in the gunfire.
Jerry Cortez Poole, of Birmingham, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree assault and prohibiting certain people from owning a firearm. He was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison with five years to serve, followed by five years probation.
The shooting occurred around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, inside RC’s Collision Paint and Body in the 5800 block of First Avenue North.
Store owner Robert Colvert III was hit twice, in the hips and buttocks. Poole was also hit twice and underwent surgery for his injuries.
Colvert, in a previous interview with AL.com, said Poole owned another auto repair shop across town, but everything he owned was stolen in a burglary not so long ago. long time. Introduced by a mutual acquaintance, Colvert had agreed to let the man use his tools and space in his workshop for a few weeks to complete the work he was doing on two vehicles. They had reached an agreement on what the man would pay Colvert.
Poole, Colvert said, had completed work on one of the vehicles and returned it to its owner. He was then supposed to pay Colvert his share of the money but stopped showing up at the store and did not respond to Colvert’s messages.
Poole still had a car at Colvert’s store and showed up there that day to pick it up. “I told him not to come back until he settled his debt,” Colvert said. “He was restless and made four or five trips back to his car.”
After that last trip, Poole “barge” into the body shop, Colvert said. That’s when Colvert said he said Poole pulled out a handgun with an extended clip. He turned away and that’s when the first bullet hit him in the upper leg near the hip. He then pulled out his .380 caliber handgun and fired back.
Unfortunately, he said, he only had three or four bullets in the gun. Poole, he said, had 30 rounds. “Basically, I took a knife in a shootout,” he said. “I don’t think he thought I had a gun, which I only had in my pocket because he was so agitated. When I fired back, he went ballistic.
Colvert said the man emptied his clip inside the body shop. The workers hid wherever they could. A second shot hit Colvert in the area of his rectum. “He had such speed, the force spun me around and I fell to the ground,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
He said in 2018 that what bothered him the most was that the Poole was a convicted felon who was in possession of a firearm and the danger that posed to Colvert and all of his employees. “I’m more worried about the people around me,” he said. “He had no respect for human life.”
Colvert said Tuesday he believed justice had been served.
“We pray for the healing and forgiveness of Poole and his family. It has been a traumatic and prolonged experience,’ Colvert said Tuesday. “I do not harbor any resentment or grudges in my heart. Mr Poole apologized in court yesterday and it was very sincere.