From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — An investigation into the attempted murder of a Birmingham police officer is underway after a shooting, chase and theft of a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office SUV early Sunday morning.
A suspect in the shooting is in custody following a chase, the shooting of two civilians, a standoff with officers and a second chase through multiple cities.
The incident began shortly before 1 a.m., according to Birmingham Police Officer Truman Fitzgerald.
“An East Precinct officer was stopped at a traffic light in the 9400 of Parkway East when a vehicle pulled beside the patrol vehicle,” Fitzgerald said. “The occupant of the vehicle began firing shots at the officer. The suspect discharged several rounds into the patrol vehicle. The officer was not injured.”
An East Precinct officer observed the suspect’s vehicle and a pursuit ensued, according to a statement released by law enforcement.
“During the initial pursuit, the suspect began firing shots at the officers involved in the pursuit,” Fitzgerald said. “The pursuit ended in the 1200 block of Arkadelphia Road when the suspect’s vehicle became disabled.”
According to Fitzgerald, the suspect began firing shots at civilians in another vehicle.
“A male and female were struck by gunfire,” Fitzgerald said. “Birmingham Fire and Rescue transported those victims to UAB Hospital.”
The male victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The female victim suffered life-threatening injuries.
“The suspect then became involved in a short standoff in the roadway of 1200 Arkadelphia Road,” Fitzgerald said. “During the standoff, the suspect gained control of a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’ (JCSO) patrol vehicle. The suspect then fled in the JCSO vehicle.”
The pursuit traveled through multiple jurisdictions including Birmingham, Vestavia, and Hoover. The suspect’s vehicle was disabled in the 2800 block of John Hawkins Parkway. The JCSO vehicle was badly burned during the incident.
The suspect was then taken into custody. The suspect sustained minor injuries and was transported to the hospital for evaluation. During the incident, officers did return fire, Fitzgerald said.