HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — An Alabama police officer has been charged in connection with the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend, who was gunned down in the parking lot of his apartment complex.
David Michael McCoy, 28, of Huntsville, is charged with capital murder in the death of Courtney Spraggins, 26, of Trion, Georgia. McCoy remained Tuesday in the Madison County Jail, where he is being held without bond.
McCoy, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, has been placed on administrative leave, Huntsville police officials said. Due to his status as a police officer, the homicide is being investigated by Alabama’s State Bureau of Investigation.
SBI officials have been tight-lipped about the details of the shooting, but Spraggins’ family told AL.com that she and McCoy had dated on and off since meeting on Tinder more than a year ago. Spraggins was a mother of two young children.
Spraggins, who had previously miscarried a child conceived with McCoy, was seven months pregnant with their daughter. According to her family, she planned to name the baby girl Addison Mae.
Spraggins’ parents said that McCoy was not happy about the pending arrival.
Multiple news outlets, including Huntsville’s WAAY, reported that McCoy was engaged to another woman. Sources told the news station that McCoy and his fiancée took engagement photos this past fall.
Spraggins’ friends and family said she planned to move to Huntsville to live with McCoy and give birth. There was no indication that she knew of his fiancée.
AL.com reported Tuesday morning that lawyers for McCoy have filed a motion seeking a gag order in the case, writing in the document that the media “has a terrible record of printing matters inaccurately, thus inflaming” a potential jury pool.
A GoFundMe page has been created by the stepmother of Spraggins’ young children to help lay their mother to rest.
“(Courtney) did not have life insurance and her family does not have the funds for her funeral,” Tabitha Spraggins wrote on the fundraising page. “We are trying to come up with the money to have her body moved to the funeral home of her parents’ choice.”
As of noon Tuesday, the page had raised just over $8,000 to get Courtney Spraggins home to her parents.
‘This monster played God with my child’
WAFF in Huntsville reported that McCoy called in the shooting around 10 a.m. Friday, reporting it to dispatchers as a suicide inside a vehicle in the parking lot of the Weston Ranch Apartments. McCoy, who lived there, also served as the apartment complex’s courtesy officer.
Spraggins was found seated in her car with a gunshot wound to the head, the news station reported.
Her mother, Kimberley Walter, said she has been told by authorities that McCoy initially told investigators he did not know Spraggins, but they found photos of the officer in Spraggins car, according to AL.com.
Text messages on her cellphone also helped detectives piece together what really took place, authorities said.
Walter and her husband, Ed Walter, described their daughter’s relationship with McCoy as tumultuous. Spraggins, who divided her time between multiple states, including North Carolina, would often travel to Alabama to spend time with him.
During a visit just before Thanksgiving, McCoy threatened violence, Ed Walter told the news site.
“She stayed with us for the holidays and we gave her the best baby shower ever,” Ed Walter said.
For her final visit, McCoy had sent Spraggins money for gas and a hotel room. Kimberley Walter told WAFF she tried to talk her daughter out of traveling to see McCoy, to no avail.
About 10:16 a.m. Friday, Spraggins texted her father.
“She texted me, ‘Daddy I’m here,’” Ed Walter said. “I said, ‘Baby girl, I love you. Be careful (and) get some rest.’ She said, ‘Ok Daddy, I love you too.’”
Within 30 minutes, she was dead.
“She finally gets to Alabama and from my understanding, she never made it out of her car,” Kimberley Walter told AL.com.
The couple said they do not know if McCoy argued with their daughter before the shooting or if it was an “ambush.” Ed Walter wrote on Facebook that he’s “filled with rage and devastation.”
“She was killed by the one she trusted, the one supposed to protect her,” he wrote. “The father of her unborn child. A sworn police officer.”
The couple learned of their daughter’s death after Spraggins’ ex-husband messaged them to get a good phone number. Authorities in Huntsville needed to talk to them, according to AL.com.
Ed Walter said he immediately began searching Alabama news sites and saw news of the shooting.
Kimberley Walter said her daughter, who doted on her own son and daughter, was trained as a certified nursing assistant but most recently worked at a North Carolina animal clinic. Her last day there was on Dec. 14.
“When I heard, I was heartbroken,” Spraggins’ former boss, Angie Boatwright, told WAAY from Carthage Animal Hospital. “I immediately started crying. I just can’t imagine … how could anybody want to hurt her?
“She was excited to be moving down there with him, and she only spoke good things about him and the situation. You never heard anything bad.”
The Walters described Spraggins as loving, vivacious and kind. Kimberley Walter told the news station she is trying to hold it together.
“I know I told her, ‘I will do anything in the world for you,’ and that still sticks,” she said. “If I have to rock Alabama to make this madness stop … because this monster played God with my child.”
To AL.com, Walter described her relationship with her daughter as like “two peas in a pod.”
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around this,” she said. “She was my best friend. I don’t know how I’m going to move on without her.”
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