Tuscaloosa Police: Officers involved in shooting on leave

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Photo courtesy Tuscaloosa Police Department

<p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>By WVUA 23 News Reporter </span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>A’Leeyah</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″> Ponder</span></span></p>

<p data-ogsc=”windowtext”>Eight Tuscaloosa Police Officers are on leave in the wake of an officer-involved shooting at a local apartment complex early Wednesday, and the suspect remains in stable but critical condition. None of the officers were injured in the incident. Four fired their weapons.</p><p data-ogsc=”windowtext”>As is standard procedure, the officers’ actions are being evaluated by an organization outside TPD, in this case by the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.</p><p data-ogsc=”windowtext”>The incident kicked off around 2 a.m. when TPD was called to Harry’s Bar by employees requesting assistance with a disorderly patron.</p>

<p lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”>Once TPD arrived, that patron left and drove off. Officers followed him and witnessed him driving in a reckless manner, so they attempted a traffic stop.</p><p lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”>The driver refused to stop, and officers followed him from the bar to Bent Tree Apartments on Hargrove Road, where the driver got out of his car and entered an apartment.</p>

<p lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”>Police said two others were in the apartment at the time, but they quickly got out and told police the man had armed himself with a rifle and a pistol.</p>

<p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>“</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>W</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>e continued</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″> to try and make contact with the subject,” said Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Capt. Jack Kennedy, but TPD soon heard two gunshots from within the apartment.</span></span><span class=”x_EOP x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><br></span></p><p lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”>After the gunshots, TPD dispatched their Special Response Team, set up a perimeter and evacuated nearby residents.</p>

<p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>“W</span></span><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>hile that was in progress the subject opened the door, aimed a rifle directly at a police officer,” Kennedy said. “Multiple officers opened fire and struck the subject multiple times.” </span></span></p>

<p lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”>The man was rushed to DCH Regional Medical Center, where Kennedy said he remains in critical but stable condition.</p><p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>The patron was struck several times. He was rushed to Druid City Hospital. </span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>Capt. </span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>Kennedy said he i</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>s now at </span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>DCH in stable, but critical condition</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>.</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″> No officers were injured at the scene.</span></span><span class=”x_EOP x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”> </span></p><p lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”>Kennedy said there are two parallel investigations ongoing.</p>

<p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>“One at this time is the criminal investigation, because we do believe we have probable cause of criminal acts from this subject</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>,” said Kennedy. “T</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>here will also be a </span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>separate</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″> officer-involved investigation. That will also be presented as a separate case for a grand jury to evaluate</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>.</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>”</span></span><span class=”x_EOP x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”> </span></p>

<p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>Kennedy</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″> said he hasn’t seen any evidence suggesting the officers involved </span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>did anything other than defend themselves.</span></span><span class=”x_EOP x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”> </span></p>

<p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley said they are </span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>prioritizing the officers’ mental health in the wake of the incident.</span></span><span class=”x_EOP x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”> </span></p>

<p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”rgb(0, 0, 0)”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>“This is traumatic,” Blankley said. “N</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>o one wants to shoot anybody. T</span><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>he suspect forced us to do that. These officers, they take it to heart. Their families take it to heart, so we want to make sure they get the best care possible until they are ready to come back to work.”</span></span></p><p class=”x_Paragraph x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US” data-ogsc=”windowtext”><span class=”x_TextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″ lang=”EN-US”><span class=”x_NormalTextRun x_SCXW182710694 x_BCX0″>The man who was shot has not yet been charged. </span></span></p>

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