Officer-involved shooting under investigation
By JOSH FRYE
News Staff Writer
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is still conducting a probe into the officer-involved shooting that occurred early Friday, January 8, at Creek Travel Plaza.
Reports are that at approximately 5 a.m., Poarch Creek Indian Tribal Police officers attempted to make contact with a carjacking suspect in the front parking lot of the truck stop, located on Jack Springs Road and just off Interstate 65’s Exit 54.
According to reports from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, as the uniformed officers and marked patrol units attempted to make contact with the suspect, whose name has not yet been released, an altercation occurred between the suspect and officers, forcing tribal law enforcement to draw weapons and fire at the suspect.
A white SUV was parked just to the side of the travel plaza’s front doors. Its back window was shattered, and multiple evidence markers were placed on the ground around the vehicle. At least two windows fronting the Creek Travel Plaza Diner had bullet holes and had been covered.
According to officials, all store employees and officers escaped unharmed, but the suspect, who sustained multiple injuries, was transported to a nearby medical facility for treatment by EMS.
The truck stop remained closed throughout the day Friday, with the front parking lot roped off with police tape. Officers blocked entrances, while investigators from Poarch, the sheriff’s office and SBI remained at the scene collecting evidence.
According to a press release from Sheriff Heath Jackson, the suspect is alleged to have committed numerous car thefts and armed car-jackings in several Alabama counties.
Jackson added in the press release that the sheriff’s office is thankful that all officers escaped unharmed and thankful for their professional and quick response in such a dangerous situation.
ECSO requested that ALEA conduct the investigation, as is standard practice in all officer-involved shootings throughout the state.
Neither ECSO, tribal police nor Creek Travel Plaza officials would comment any further on the incident.
An ALEA spokesperson added that the investigation is still ongoing, and all information and findings will be turned over to the Escambia County District Attorney’s Office once the investigation is complete.