Pickens County family still waiting for answers in loved one’s death

Local News

GORDO, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been one year since a Pickens County man was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting in Gordo.  

On Aug. 28, 2019, deputies were called to the home of 62-year-old Wallace Wilder for a wellness check. Deadly force was ultimately used by authorities, taking Wilder’s life.

Renota Harris says her family is still heartbroken and in pain with the death of her uncle.

“It’s frustrating, and I am so hurt, to know that the person who murdered your loved one is going to walk free,” Harris said.

CBS 42 has learned the Montgomery Attorney General’s Office has concluded its investigation into the officer-involved shooting. The case was presented to a grand jury and decided not to indict the deputies involved in the fatal shooting so they will not face charges.

Harris says deadly force was not necessary.

“Wallace was not the aggressor that day, he was inside his own home. Whatever he was doing he was doing it inside his own home not being a danger or a threat to anyone. That’s what hurts so much,” she said.

Wilder suffered from mental illness. On the day of his death officers were called to his home and used deadly force even though his family says he didn’t have any guns in the home. But his niece says there was an allegation he did have a knife.

“They could have called in some trained professionals to talk him down. He is mentally ill and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. He was a father and grandfather, he was an uncle, he was a brother, he was a friend and was all of those things to so many different people and that person has been snatched out of our lives,” she said.

CBS 42 reached out to Pickens County Sheriff and District Attorney Andrew Hamlin and the Attorney General’s Office for statements to tell their side of the story. But none of these officials wanted to comment.


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