TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Authorities have arrested a suspect involved in a shooting that resulted in two Tuscaloosa Police Department Officers being injured.
The shooting took place at The Links apartments Monday around 3:40 p.m after the department received reports that a man had been walking around the complex with a gun in his pocket, police say. Officers arrived and found the suspect, 20, on the golf course. He refused to acknowledge multiple commands to stop and to drop his weapon, according to police.
Officers followed him across the golf course and to the lake, where the man fired multiple shots at the officers. One officer was shot in his bullet-proof vest, police report. The Vest stopped the round, only causing bruising to his ribs.
Officers from multiple agencies responded and surrounded the area. The suspect surrendered at around 5:09 p.m. after hiding for more than an hour in the grassy area and shallow water at the edge of the nearby lake.
He was taken into custody without incident and transported to DCH Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his hand.
A second officer received a minor injury during the incident. Both officers had been treated and released from DCH by 7 p.m. The suspect remained hospitalized.
City Councilwoman Raevan Howard was relieved that both officers were okay after scary moments at the Links and Greens Apartment complex.
“One officer was not shot but did injure their hand on the wrist,” Howard said. “Another officer was shot but the bullet was lodged between the bulletproof vest”.
Howard is the Chairperson of the Public Safety committee.
“I work very closely with our police officers and I immediately wanted to know who the victims and the status of their health and situation were and wanted to be there personally to thank them for what they do,” Howard said.
Investigators with the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit who are not employed by TPD will conduct the criminal investigation to determine what charges the suspect will face. TPD will conduct an internal investigation. Following department policy, the three officers involved will remain on administrative leave until the conclusion of the investigation.
Chief Brent Blankley expressed gratitude to the dozens of officers from surrounding agencies who quickly responded to assist.
“I’m proud of the way these officers responded, in this dangerous situation where their lives and the lives of others were in serious danger,” he said. “We are very fortunate no one was seriously injured and that the bulletproof vest saved an officer’s life today.”