BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A former Birmingham police officer who was shot in the head and permanently disabled while on duty in 1995 died the day after Christmas.
Randall “Randy” Versie Smith, a 63-year-old former Birmingham Police officer, died following a fall at his home in Vestavia Hills. According to the medical examiner, the injury he suffered 25 years ago is believed to be a contributing factor in his death. His family wrote in his obituary that they are grateful “to the men and women of the Birmingham Police Department for honoring his life falling in the line of duty.”
On March 22, 1995, Smith along with other officers, were dispatched to a domestic dispute in Ensley. While responding to the call, Officer Smith rescued a toddler during a domestic incident involving a
person with a gun. During the incident a fellow responding officer accidentally shot Smith, who was unable to return to duty. He retired from the force in 1996.
Smith served in the army for six years prior to joining the Birmingham Police Department in 1988. He worked as an officer for eight years before being shot in the head. He spent weeks in a coma after undergoing hours of surgery. The shooting left him deaf in one ear and blind in one eye. He experienced difficulties with speech as well, family says.
“However, Randy’s spirit, optimism, and love for others remained unharmed,” family wrote in Smith’s obituary. “Randy was very involved with his family and loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. A true hero, he also enjoyed investing his time and giving back to others by visiting patients at the Lakeshore Foundation and the Alabama Head Injury Foundation sharing his story of hope and survival.”
Smith is a recipient of the City of Homewood’s Quality of Life award and was appointed grand marshal of the We Love Homewood Parade in 2008.
Smith’s funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at Homewood High School’s Waldrop Stadium. Ridout’s Valley Chapel in Homewood will direct the services. His body will lie in state for an hour before the funeral. Following the service, there will be a procession, honoring Smith’s line-of-duty-death, to his burial site at Southern Heritage Cemetery in Pelham.
The family asks that memorials honoring Smith’s life be directed to Alabama Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) located at 1010 Halsey Avenue Northeast in Huntsville.
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