By Erica Thomas, managing editor
IRONDALE — In today’s climate, law enforcement is challenged to overcome many obstacles. We often see the negative side of police work but it is rare that officers are highlighted in a positive way. But one rookie Irondale officer is showing that there are great men and women protecting citizens every day.
Officer Davis Adair was the first officer to arrive on the scene of a shooting in the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 28, 2021. When he arrived just before 4 a.m., he found Dewarren Lovell Gibson, 21, suffering from a single gunshot wound in the chest area. The victim was in the breezeway at an apartment complex located at 4400 Hunter Ridge Way. The Birmingham native, Gibson, was fighting for his life with each breath.
Adair knew he had a job to do and part of that job was comforting Gibson. Sgt. Michael Mangina said the officer kneeled down beside the victim and held his hand until help arrived. Mangina said he hopes the family of Gibson is comforted knowing he was not alone during this terrifying moment.
“Hopefully this will make the family feel better,” said Mangina. “They’re certainly grieving right now but just to know that this one policeman held his hand and tried to comfort him is just awesome.”
Adair, who has been a police officer for only about a year, told the victim to squeeze his hand, in an attempt to keep him conscious.
“He repeatedly told him to open his eyes because he was struggling to stay awake,” Mangina added.
Gibson was eventually taken to UAB Hospital where he underwent surgery. Unfortunately, he did not make it. He died the next day, according to Jefferson County Coroner Bill Yates.
As for the shooting investigation, detectives spoke to two witnesses on the scene, as well as the victim. Gibson told police that a man in all black clothing with a black ski mask tried to rob him of his cell phone. When he refused to hand it over, he said the man opened fire, striking him under his arm. A person of interest was taken into custody. During questioning, they discovered the victim and the suspect knew each other. It is believed the shooting was domestic in nature.
The 22-year-old suspect could face murder and robbery charges.
Justice will likely be served in the case and Mangina said the actions of Adair is just one example of the great things to come for local law enforcement.
“This is extremely important, especially in today’s climate,” said Mangina. “Law enforcement is just like every other profession. There’s always a couple of bad apples but lately, we’ve been so fortunate to get such great quality men and women that we are just so proud of. They’re young, they’re smart and they seem to know what they’re doing. They want to be human about the whole thing and I think that’s important nowadays.”