From Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — A shootout on Interstate 59 South near the 29th Street exit in Ensley left multiple people wounded, according to Officer Truman Fitzgerald of the Birmingham Police Department.
The incident, which occurred just after 4:30 p.m. on Friday, caused standstill traffic as I-59 remained closed for two hours during the evening rush hour.
Fitzgerald said the shooting started when people in one vehicle believed they saw a vehicle that had been stolen from them in another municipality traveling down the Interstate.
“We believe that a group saw their possibly stolen vehicle and began following it. This vehicle was allegedly taken in a neighboring city,” Fitzgerald said.
Both vehicles stopped on I-59 just before the Bush Blvd. exit and a shootout ensued, Fitzgerald said. Police believe all for gunshot victims were involved in the initial incident. No innocent bystanders were believed to be injured.
Officers responded to multiple calls of a shootout taking place on I-59 South near the 20th Street in Ensley exit at about 4:40 p.m. Friday.
Responding officers found two adult victims suffering from gunshot wounds and two vehicles that had been shot into just before the Bush Boulevard exit. Birmingham Fire and Rescue transported both male victims to UAB Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Officers also discovered two more gunshot victims arrived at the UAB Hospital by private vehicle. They are believed to have non life-threatening injuries.
ORIGINALLY REPORTED: Officers are on the scene, according the the Birmingham Police Department in a statement issued at 5:09 p.m.
A media staging area is being set up where police will provide additional details.
At 6:01 p.m., the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said I-59 southbound was closed.
“An incident that occurred at approximately 4:48 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, has caused a road closure,” Senior Trooper Justin O’Neal said. “All lanes of Interstate 59 southbound near the 120 mile marker in Jefferson County are currently blocked and will be for an undetermined amount of time.”
Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division are assisting the Birmingham Police Department with traffic control and will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates accordingly.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.