Huntsville Police officer shot, killed in the line of duty — Sixth Alabama LEO slain this year
A 20-year veteran Huntsville Police Department officer on Friday evening was shot and killed in the line of duty.
The officer’s name is expected to be released on Saturday. The suspect, whose name also has yet to be released, is in custody.
Huntsville PD Chief Mark McMurray during a press conference confirmed the officer’s death, outlining that the officer was shot in the heart during a drug-related task force operation and later was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The officer was reportedly wearing a bullet proof vest when the shooting occurred.
Following Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams’ death most recently, this Huntsville officer becomes the sixth Alabama law enforcement officer slain in the line of duty in 2019.
U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town of the Northern District of Alabama released a statement, saying, “All of Alabama is heartbroken again as another Alabama peace officer is gunned down in the line of duty.”
“The Huntsville Police Department investigator, whose name will be released tomorrow, will always be remembered as a good man and a fine officer. Those of us who knew him admired his dedication and professionalism. We must now direct our prayers to his grieving family and pull together in full support of the Huntsville Police Department and law enforcement everywhere who lost another brother of the badge tonight. I am beyond grief,” Town concluded.
A @HSVPolice officer has fallen tonight, killed by gunfire in the line of duty. As we mourn the loss of yet another one of Alabama’s heroes, let us pledge to find ways to keep law enforcement safe. Please pray for the officer’s family and fellow officers. #ThinBlueLine pic.twitter.com/Ai0bdfl5qE
— AG Steve Marshall (@AGSteveMarshall) December 7, 2019
Governor Kay Ivey also released a statement.
“I am grieved to hear of the Huntsville Police Officer killed in the line of duty and extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to his family for their unimaginable loss,” the governor stated. “It has been an exceptionally tough year for our law enforcement community, and this will be felt across our state.”
“I will also be praying for strength for the Huntsville Police as they grieve the loss of their fellow officer, as well as for their continued protection as they keep us safe. May the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding be with the family and everyone who loved this dedicated officer,” Ivey added.
ALEA Sec. Hal Taylor: “Tonight, we mourn the loss of yet another brother, an officer with the Huntsville Police Department. This has been a deadly year for Alabama’s law enforcement community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones, as well as his Huntsville PD family.” pic.twitter.com/MwFZM8Y0jc
— Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (@ALEAprotects) December 7, 2019
Oxford Police Department Chief Bill Partridge, who is president of the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police, tweeted, “It seems the attack on our brothers and sisters of law enforcement continues. We have lost another officer tonight to gunfire. Please keep the Huntsville Police Department and the family of the fallen officer in your prayers. This assault must stop!”
In addition to the Huntsville PD officer and Sheriff Williams, Tuscaloosa Police Department Investigator Dornell Cousette, Mobile Police Department Officer Sean Tuder, Auburn Police Department Officer William Buechner and Birmingham Police Sergeant Wytasha Carter have been shot and killed in the line of duty this year.
State Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville), a former police chief in the city, posted a powerful tribute about the unmanned officer on Facebook.
“He always wanted to be in drug enforcement, that’s all he talked about as a young officer. He worked the streets diligently until he got his dream assignment,” Reynolds wrote. “Now he is the victim of a murder, killed trying to make our community safer. There are mean evil people in this world that have no respect for human life.”
“I pray for his family, our officers, our Chief that tried to provide comfort in the worst of times, and I pray for the families and the officers that graduated the police academy this morning,” he concluded. “There is no reasoning. Bad day for the good guys.”
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle stated, “Our City is broken hearted tonight.”
“All of Huntsville mourns along with the Huntsville Police Department and the family and friends of our fallen officer. We owe a continual and deep debt of gratitude to the men and women in law enforcement who protect our community every day. Let it never be taken for granted the sacrifice that officers make to keep us safe,” the mayor continued.
Battle advised, “We stand side by side with our police department and in the days, weeks and months ahead – have no doubt – we will use the full extent of the law to bring the perpetrator to justice.”
FALLEN OFFICER: Fellow officers saluted as a fallen Huntsville Police Officer’s body was loaded into a hearse. We don’t know the identity of the officer or the man in custody for the shooting. pic.twitter.com/nuAqw5pcSE
— WHNT News 19 (@whnt) December 7, 2019
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn