By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – After nearly two weeks of running down false leads and running into dead ends, New Albany police have who they believe are the prime suspects in the Price shootings.
New Albany Police Chief David Grisham said two New Albany men, who were arrested on unrelated charges Thursday, are the primary suspects in the shooting death of Amanda Price and the shooting of her husband Ron Price, New Albany High School’s football coach, at their house on the night of Dec. 5.
The two men, both in their early 20s, according to Grisham, were arrested for petit larceny by the Union County Sheriff’s Department.
Grisham said new witnesses linked the men to the shooting death of Amanda Price. He said the men could be charged next week.
Police believe Amanda Price went outside with her dog and startled the men, who shot her. Coach Price was then shot while responding to his wife’s screams.
Grisham described the men who are being questioned in the slaying as “well-known to law enforcement” and said they appear to have been breaking into cars near the Price home earlier on the night of the shooting. He said the men likely entered the Price property looking for something to steal.
The chief said because the men are being held without bond, police have time to make sure their case is solid.
“There’s not a sense of urgency to charge these individuals because they are being held in jail without bond and can’t get out,” Grisham said.
Both suspects live on East Bankhead Street about a quarter-mile from where the Prices lived on Murrah Road.
Grisham would not comment on whether or not a weapon had been recovered and said neither man had confessed to the shooting.
Asked about a motive, Grisham said it was likely money.
Police initially said a string of automobile burglaries may have been connected to the shootings. A $25,000 reward had produced a few leads.
Grisham said he talked to Ron Price on Friday morning.
“He is still very upset,” he said. “He needs answers as to why this happened and who did it. These are tough times for that family.”
Grisham said investigating the Price killing has been stressful for his department and the New Albany community.
“This is just something that doesn’t happen here,” said Grisham. “This is just a random act of violence. It wasn’t domestic or drug related. The Price family are a great family and have always helped people. This has just been a hard case for everyone.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.