Suspect who was shot by police after pointing AR-15 at Tuscaloosa officer in hospital


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A suspect whom police shot after he pointed an AR-15 at an officer is now in the hospital and facing several charges.

At approximately 2 a.m., an officer with the Tuscaloosa Police Department Tuscaloosa Police attempted to stop a reckless driver who had previously been reported as being kicked out of Harry’s Bar for being hostile and attempting to fight.  The driver, 29-year-old William Baxter Gilstrap, refused to stop, driving to Bent Tree Apartments, where he got out and went inside his apartment. 

While officers attempted to make contact with Gilstrap, two of his roommates left the apartment, reporting that he was armed with a rifle and a pistol, acting erratically. Officers then set up a perimeter around the home after hearing several gunshots from inside. Gilstrap reportedly then opened the door and pointed an AR-15 at an officer. Several officers then fired at Gilstrap, striking him several times. 

Gilstrap, who had been in Tuscaloosa a few weeks after arriving from South Carolina, was subsequently taken to DCH Regional Medical Center in critical condition. He is charged with attempting to elude and discharging a firearm into an unoccupied building.

The investigation has been ongoing for the last week as Gilstrap has been receiving medical treatment. Once the investigation is closed, the case will be presented to a grand jury and more charges may be forthcoming.

The Violent Crimes Unit is investigating the case. Per protocol, no investigators affiliated with the Tuscaloosa Police Department have been involved in the investigation. 

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