BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The family of Desmon Ray Jr. is demanding answers after an officer-involved shooting resulted in Ray’s death. The 28-year-old died on Easter Sunday after celebrating the holiday with family.
Ray’s family tells CBS 42 they have no idea what happened the night their son died and are asking law enforcement to explain how and why this happened.
“I haven’t seen my baby since Easter Sunday,” Lashondra Wilson, Ray’s mother, said. “I just want to see my baby.”
Around 10:50 p.m. on April 4, the Birmingham 911 Communication Division received a call from a third party stating that two people were involved in a domestic disturbance inside of a vehicle traveling in north Birmingham.
Dispatchers were able to obtain a location and description of the vehicle and provided both to officers through police radio, BPD said.
Shortly after, officers saw the vehicle that matched the description in the 300 block of 9th Avenue West. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop, police say. The vehicle then came to a rest in the 200 block of 9th Avenue West after colliding into a fence.
Police say that is when the driver exited the vehicle and confronted officers with a firearm. In return, an officer fired their weapon striking the suspect. Birmingham Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and transported the suspect to UAB Hospital with life-threatening injuries where he later died.
Ray was a father to nine children. His family said they have requested the police report and asked to speak with police and have not received any response.
CBS 42 reached out to BPD, they sent the following statement:
“It is truly devastating and heartbreaking when an officer discharges his weapon in the line of duty resulting in the death of another. Chief Patrick Smith along with the Command Staff has met with other concerned community members and would surely be welcoming to open dialog with the family of Desmon Ray. The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation is the lead investigative agency and the only agency at this point that can release information pertaining to this case.”Birmingham Police Department
CBS 42 reached out to the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). They sent the following statement:
“Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) are currently conducting an investigation relative to a fatal shooting that occurred Sunday, April 4, involving Officers with the Birmingham Police Department. SBI began the investigation at the request of the Birmingham Police Department. Nothing further is available as the investigation is ongoing. Once complete, the State Bureau of Investigation will turn over all findings to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.”Alabama State Bureau of Investigation
The attorneys for the Ray family say right now they will not be pursuing legal action against BPD. Their priority is getting to the bottom of what happened to their son.
A funeral is scheduled for Saturday. The family has been unable to view or identify Ray since he was fatally shot.