DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Around 1:00 p.m. Monday, a Dothan police officer attempted to do a routine traffic stop on a vehicle due to it not having any tags.
After speaking with the driver, the officer noticed a firearm in the vehicle, and the driver left the scene before the stop was finished.
The officer followed the car with backup in tow, but when the driver exited the vehicle, he had the firearm in hand.
“At 12:44 the suspect stopped at Third and Trim and exited the vehicle armed with a handgun,” Dothan Police Chief William Benny said. “Officers attempted to use a taser to incapacitate the suspect. The suspect began firing at an officer and struck him in the left leg. The officer and his backup fired at the suspect ending the confrontation.”
Many neighbors that were home for lunch or about to go back to work heard what sounded like firecrackers going off but they quickly realized it was gunfire.
“I first heard what sounded like a larger caliber rifle; I’m a hunter,” witness Kenneth Jackson said. “It sounded like five doo, doo, doo, doo about five or six shots, and then I heard two seconds after that a smaller caliber handgun pow, pow, pow about six to eight times. I really couldn’t count them. It was just that quick.”
Although some didn’t realize right away it was gunfire, it was still a scary experience for residents of the third avenue area.
“It sounded like firecrackers, I didn’t know what was going on,” neighbor Rhonda Jones said. “And my husband got up, and he was laying down, and I went out with him, and all I could see are these cop cars.”
As for now, the officer is recovering in the hospital and the suspect was pronounced dead at the medical facility.
WDHN will keep you updated when any new information becomes available.