By Erica Thomas, managing editor
BIRMINGHAM — A robbery suspect was killed and two Birmingham Police officers were injured after a robbery and shooting in downtown Birmingham.
Police received a call about a robbery in progress at a convenience store in the 500 block of 23rd Street North, on Wednesday, July 17. An officer responded and a man matching the description of the suspect pulled out a handgun and fired at an officer, according to police.
Chief Patrick Smith, with the Birmingham Police Department, said several officers responded and attempted to stop the suspect.
“The suspect further engaged them and after he engaged them, multiple rounds were fired at him and our suspect was deceased at that location,” said Smith.
The suspect was taken down near a parking structure.
The officer that was shot, Officer Cullen Stafford, was struck multiple times and was taken to UAB where he was taken into emergency surgery. Sgt. Johnny Williams, with the Birmingham Police Department, said the hospital confirmed Stafford’s surgery went well and he is now in recovery.
Stafford’s 36th birthday is July 18 and that will also be his eighth anniversary with the Birmingham Police Department. In 2015, Stafford was awarded a Life-Saving Medal, for making a sacrifice to save lives in Birmingham. He was also honored in 2017 after being injured in the line of duty.
Police said the suspect fired from multiple locations so a large perimeter was set up for crime scene investigators to comb each location. The Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) is on the scene.
The Fraternal Order of Police president Heath Boackle said this situation is going to be difficult for all of the officers involved. He asked for prayer for the injured officer and the officer’s family.