BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Birmingham police officer injured in a shooting during a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon is recovering and in stable condition, according to the police department.
Sgt. Anthony Wheeler, 35, a 10-year veteran of the Birmingham Police Department assigned to the Patrol Division West Precinct, was shot several times after conducting a traffic stop involving three auto theft suspects. The shooting occurred at Tuscaloosa Avenue and 12th Street Southwest around 12:45 p.m.
According to a BPD press release, during the traffic stop, two of the suspects got out of the car and tried to run away. During the pursuit, one of the suspects pulled out a gun and opened fire, striking Sgt. Wheeler multiple times. A backup sergeant responded to the incident to offer assistance, returning fire to the suspect.
Wheeler was transported to UAB Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was also transported to the hospital, of which the extent of his injuries are currently unknown.
BPD received assistance from additional resources to search for the third suspect, who was apprehended at 3:22 p.m. on Cotton Avenue Southwest. The shooting suspect is in the custody of Birmingham Police. Two others have been detained for questioning.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is presiding over this officer-involved shooting investigation.
Wednesday’s shooting marked the second officer-involved shooting in Birmingham in nearly a month. On Jan. 26, Birmingham Police Detective John Finke was injured in a shooting during a robbery near Woodlawn’s Church of Highlands Campus.
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