Dearniki Echols (born c. 1972; died April 22, 2003 in Ensley) was a part-time secretary for Bethel-Ensley Action Task. She lived across the street from Bethel AME Church Ensley, where BEAT's offices are housed.
On the night of April 22, 2003 Echols walked home from work and interrupted a robbery in progress. She was shot to death and three men fled from the scene in view of BEAT construction coordinator Henry Scruggs, who called 911. Two suspects were later taken into custody.
Echols' two sons moved in with her mother, Lauratine in Forestdale.
- Sullivan, Erin (April 24, 2003) "'Nobody lives there anymore': Slaying shakes Ensley area." Birmingham Post-Herald