Mom of Slain Birmingham, AL, Firefighter Hosts Event for Youths

Feb. 28, 2024
Firefighter Jordan Melton, who would have turned 30 today, was shot and killed in his Birmingham fire station last summer.

It’s been nearly eight months since someone gunned down two Birmingham firefighters inside Station 9, killing one and critically wounding another.

Firefighter Jordan Melton died five days after the July 12, 2023, shooting. Jamal Jones, who has since been promoted to the rank of sergeant, is still undergoing treatment and has not yet been able to return to work.

On Tuesday, the day before Melton would have turned 30, his mother announced the kickoff for the Jordan E. Melton Memorial Crusade for Justice and lamented the fact that no arrests have been made in her son’s murder.

“After eight months, I’m told there are still no tips, no leads, no suspects,’’ Rochelle Gaston Malone said. “I am grateful to Almighty God and great allies for the strength to become more active in the pursuit of justice for Jordan.”

Malone is launching a GoFundMe – Pursuit of Justice for Firefighter Jordan Melton – to raise money for a private investigation into Melton’s slaying, as well as other future unsolved cases.

“It’s frustrating not to know anything,’’ Malone said. “We will not rest until this journey for justice is won.”

Birmingham police officials on Tuesday said solving the shooting is a priority for the department and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

“We are both working together to bring Jordan’s killer or killers to justice,’’ said Officer Truman Fitzgerald.

He said detectives have identified persons of interest in Jordan’s case.

“We are not comfortable naming them ‘suspects’ yet,’’ Fitzgerald said. “Our detectives have developed and followed up on evidentiary leads in this case and will continue until those responsible are behind bars.”

A reward of more than $40,000 remains in place.

On Wednesday, the Jordan E. Melton Memorial Summit will be held at the A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club. The invitation-only even will focus on Melton’s story, fire safety and gun violence prevention. There will also be a balloon release in Melton’s memory.

The event is the kick-off for year-round awareness and empowerment events for the city’s youth, Malone said.

Melton and Jones were shot just before 8:30 a.m. that Wednesday after they began their shift. They were performing routine maintenance in the station’s bay area when a gunman entered through the open bay door and opened fire in what police say was a targeted attack.

Birmingham police and Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service were called to the station, at 1228 27th St. North, where the firefighters had reportedly been shot in the chest and legs.

At least one caller reported hearing shots and ran to take cover in the bathroom.

The shooter entered the fire station through the open bay door, which typically remains open to be accessible to residents who need their blood pressure checked or other help or information.

Station 9 remained closed until December.

Malone said before Melton was killed, he had expressed to her that he had a desire to mentor young men who had lost their way or seemed to be heading down the wrong path.

“With that thought,’’ she said, “the Holy Spirit said, ‘Purpose through the pain.’’

Wednesday’s summit and any future events is not only a way to empower the youth but a way to “carry out (Melton’s) desires, his dreams of how he would have been used if man’s plan had not interrupted his plan.”

Malone said the past eight months have been “extremely challenging to say the least.”

“I’m trying to learn how to navigate life with the understanding and knowing that I will never ever see him again here, on this side,’’ she said. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs.”

“My faith in God is sustaining me. I understand how His grace works,’’ Malone said. “What you see before you is the evidence of God’s grace.”

Malone was diagnosed in 2010 with multiple sclerosis and, in 2011, was temporarily paralyzed.

She said she’s been without treatment since 2021 and has not had a relapse since 2016 – until her son was killed.

“I was in the hospital right before Thanksgiving,’’ she said. “It’s because of the stress and impact of this incident, how it’s been handled and not been handled.”

“The last eight months have looked totally different,’’ she said, “than what I could have ever imagined.”

After Melton’s large funeral, Malone was asked what her son would think of it and she said he would probably say, “Y’all are doing the most.”

Asked Tuesday what he would say about her efforts now, she said, “‘That’s my mom. You go, girl. Y’all better listen. She’s on a mission and she’s going to accomplish it.”

Donations to the Pursuit of Justice for Firefighter Jordan Melton GoFundMe can be made here.

Anyone with information on the slaying is asked to call Birmingham homicide investigators at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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