Derrol Shaw, killer of 4 involved in Alabama prison ‘security incident,’ appeared in video: ‘We die all the time’

A man serving life without parole in an Alabama prison for four 2006 Birmingham murders appeared in two Facebook Live videos hours before the state department of corrections announced he was involved in a “security incident” that sparked a prison lockdown.

Derrol Shaw, 35, was seen in videos that began about 7 a.m. Sunday and lasted nearly 30 minutes. He was wearing what appeared to be a correctional officer’s vest and smoking what he said was marijuana.

Shaw has a bloody bandage around his wrist.

In one of the videos, Shaw said he cut his wrist on razor wire on a prison fence at Donaldson Correctional Facility and that he called 911 from a cellphone out of fear he would bleed to death.

“I was just trying to go, but that wasn’t in the cards,” Shaw said. He said he walked to back to the prison dorms and was mistaken for a correctional officer because of the vest.

“All ya’ll police that was laying in the floor of that office, y’all asses better tell the story right …. I made it clear multiple times that I wasn’t trying to hurt none of y’all as long as ya’ll didn’t buck.”

Shaw seems to say he got a gun as “insurance we didn’t even have to get physical…Y’all’s eyes got big as golf balls.”

Shaw said he thought of burning down the prison with “moonshine…I still might.”

Alabama Department of Corrections officials would not confirm if Shaw overpowered an officer or how he came to be in possession of an officer’s vest. They only said no officer was injured.

“ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division (LESD) can confirm it is investigating a security incident that took place at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama,” said a statement released by the Department of Corrections on Sunday morning.

“Currently, the facility is on lockdown for the safety of the staff and the inmates, but there is no threat to the public. LESD is being assisted by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office,” the statement read.

In the video, Shaw complained about prisons.

“These conditions, bro,’’ he said. “They create the conditions to justify the means.”

”They’re beating the people, they’re beating the taxpayers, man,” Shaw said.

“They say it costs so much money to keep us in these prisons but then they take that same money and spend it for themselves.”

“In Alabama, where we’re at, (inmates) are dying here at Donaldson,’’ Shaw said.

Shaw added that “three of my n….s died this past week.”

“They create the conditions so that we die all the time….All of us are getting fed up, bro,’’ he said. “It’s absolute chaos every single day.”

In 2008, Shaw, then 20, agreed to plead guilty to the June 13, 2006, shooting deaths of John and Evelyn Martin, 84 and 82, and their 19-year-old grandson, Ryan Evans.

He also pleaded guilty in the June 9, 2006, shooting death of Walter Hill, a 91-year-old church deacon to avoid a potential death sentence.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Alabama in 2020 over what they called overcrowded and dangerous conditions.

The Justice Department cited failure to protect prisoners from inmate-on-inmate violence and sexual abuse, failure to protect them from excessive force by staff, and failure to provide safe conditions of confinement.

In response, the Legislature and Gov. Kay Ivey agreed in October 2021 to build two new men’s prisons, one in Elmore County and a second in Escambia County.

Each new prison is designed to house 4,000 inmates.

Despite the plan, Alabama remains on track to face trial against the U.S. Department of Justice next year. In the federal government’s 2019 letter to the state, the Department of Justice said that building new prisons wouldn’t solve Alabama’s prison crisis.


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