Alabama deputies fatally shoot man who fired at utility worker, sheriff says

Birmingham police

Deputies on Wednesday fatally shot a man who earlier had fired a gun at a utility worker trying to shut off his water and later pointed a firearm at deputies, authorities said.

The shooting happened in Russell County, in eastern Alabama, near the Georgia state line. The man “fired a round” at the water works employee who had gone to the home to shut off water service, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said at a news conference.

Deputies were then sent to the water works building to take a report, and saw the man leaving the parking lot, Taylor said. They pulled the man over during a traffic stop and shot him after he “presented a firearm out the window” of his vehicle, Taylor said.

The man’s name was not released. The deputies and the utility worker were not hurt.

Taylor said he did not think the man fired at the deputies, but their actions were appropriate.

“This is a bad scenario. You don’t point a weapon at law enforcement, whether you are legal to have that weapon or not. This is a result, unfortunately, of a weapon being pointed at a deputy in a traffic stop,” the sheriff said. “And it could have ended so many different ways, and I am truly sorry that he has lost his life.”

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is reviewing the shooting, which was caught on video. The recording will not be released at this time due to the investigation, Taylor said.

Taylor said he believes the man might have gone to the water works building “to get in another altercation with his firearm with the people at the water works,” but left when he saw the deputies.

The man had previously been denied a permit to carry a concealed handgun, the sheriff said. Taylor did not elaborate on why but said he had caused an altercation at a courthouse and been noted in law enforcement files as a “mental patient” who had a weapon.

Since the earlier permit denial, Alabama has abolished a law requiring concealed carry permits.

The two deputies involved in the shooting were on administrative leave with pay.

Republished with the permission of The Associated Press.

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