OPELIKA, Alabama — The last time Freddy Tate saw his brother, Felton, was at a family cookout in Beauregard on July Fourth, 2008.
"He was happy," Tate said. "We were just talking and laughing."
That day would ultimately be the last the brothers shared together. Less than a week later, Felton, 44, was shot to death outside his home on Lee Road 39 in Beauregard. Nearly six years later, many questions remain unanswered.
"We have never made an arrest in that case," said Capt. Van Jackson of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
Jackson, who oversaw the detective division that investigated the case, said that before 9:10 p.m. on July 9, 2008, Felton Tate was coming home from a night class at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point, Georgia, and that as he approached the door of the house, an unidentified person ran around the corner and shot him. Felton Tate was airlifted to Columbus Regional Healthcare System and died while in surgery.
Freddy Tate said his family has been through a difficult time the last few years not knowing who Felton's assailant is. Freddy Tate has also been making it a point to bring more awareness about the case.
"At first, it was rough because we felt it should've been an open-closed case, but it wasn't," Tate said. "Six years have passed now, and I kept thinking about it, so I thought I had to do something."
Tate said he thinks about his brother often and that he never had any trouble with anyone.
"He was a good dad, a good husband and a hard worker," Tate said.
During a funeral held for Felton Tate July 16, 2008, many gathered and spoke about the kind of person he was.
"He was a good person," said friend Robert Lockhart. "You don't just meet people like that. He was a great person to everybody he met. If you ever wanted a brother, you'd want one like Felton."
Jackson said that besides a white four-door sedan that was seen in the area at the time of the shooting, the only piece of information the LCSO has about that night was that Felton Tate told a relative at the hospital that a black man with dreadlocks had shot him.
"This case will always be open until someone is arrested and charged," Jackson said. "We keep all of our homicide cases open and if info comes in or developments, we investigate those and try to ID those who are responsible."
The Lee County Sheriff's Office currently has four unsolved homicide cases dating as far back as 1990, Jackson said.
On Aug. 14, 2012, Gov. Robert Bentley signed a proclamation authorizing a $5,000 reward to anyone with information on the night Tate was killed. Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call the LCSO at 334-749-5651 or Lee County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-522-7847.
Information from: Opelika-Auburn News, http://www.oanow.com/