H2K or Hard to Kill is a street gang operating on Birmingham's east side. The gang is characterized as locally-based, well-organized, and active on social media. It is believed to have arisen from the ashes of another street gang, GTO (Goons Taking Over) that was prevalent in the mid-2010s.
With perhaps fewer than 100 members, H2K is believed to have been responsible for a 2021 shooting at Patton Park that resulted in the death of a female bystander, and to have been involved in as many as 9 or 10 homicides overall. Those affiliated have been described as "well armed", in some cases carrying semi-automatic handguns that have been illegally modified for fully automatic fire.
As part of efforts to focus police and prosecutorial resources on the most violent offenders, or "trigger-pullers", H2K has gained the attention of the Birmingham Police Department and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, as well as several other agencies working together under the mantle of the U.S. Department of Justice's "Project Safe Neighborhoods" program.
Individuals who have been alleged to be members of the gang during federal prosecutions include:
- Darius Emale Craig Jr, pleaded guilty to distribution and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in February 2022. He was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison.
- Horace Dantai Burgess Jr, Darius Craig's brother, pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in February 2022. He was sentenced by Judge Madeline Haikala to serve 70 months in prison followed by 60 months of supervised release.
- Fredrick Leonard Temple Jr, indicted for possession of unregistered and illegal weapons
- Eric Leman Ashley Jr, indicted for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
- Deontra Lamar Austin, was convicted on a charge of being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm. He was sentenced by Judge Annemarie Carney Axton to serve 42 months in prison followed by 36 months of supervised release.
- Demarcus Marshall, indicted for illegal possession of a firearm
- Kobe Solomon Waters, indicted for illegal possession of a firearm
- Tavoris Moore, indicted for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and illegal use of a firearm
- Tavares Trevon Nelson, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a handgun with a fully-automatic conversion
Despite those arrests, the gang was still active enough to be mentioned by Mayor Randall Woodfin in September 2022 as one of five groups believed to bear responsibility for a disproportionate amount of violence in the city.
- Robinson, Carol (June 17, 2022) "H2K, Birmingham gang suspected in multiple murders, target of Jefferson County crime fighters." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (August 4, 2022) "Birmingham man linked to H2K street gang sentenced to federal prison on drug charges." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (August 10, 2022) "Birmingham man linked to H2K gang sentenced to federal prison on gun charge." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (September 4, 2022) "Birmingham mayor calls for gang truce after 5 killed in violent start to weekend." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (January 25, 2023) "Birmingham H2K gang member pleads guilty to federal Glock switch charge." AL.com