Birmingham, AL – A Birmingham police sergeant was fatally shot and another officer was critically wounded during an attack outside a nightclub early Sunday morning.
The suspect was also shot during the altercation, The Birmingham News reported.
The incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. outside the Four Seasons Bar and Grill, when an undercover officer saw two suspects checking the doors on parked vehicles outside the business, FOX News reported.
The officer radioed for backup, and the sergeant responded to the scene, according to The Birmingham News.
“The officers approached one suspect and patted him down where they found what they believed to be a weapon,'' Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said. “They asked him about it, he armed himself and fired upon our officers.”
The attack unfolded rapidly, Chief Smith said.
"What I can tell you is it appears our officers were unable to respond,'' he explained. “They were taken completely by surprise. We can’t go into great detail because we are still in the infancy stage of the investigation.”
Both officers were rushed to the UAB Hospital’s Trauma Center, where the sergeant later passed away.
He was promoted to the rank of sergeant just 11 months ago, and leaves behind his wife and children.
The second officer remains hospitalized.
“Both of them were shot in very critical areas,” Chief Smith said.
The suspect, who was wounded during the altercation, was also transported to the trauma center.
His condition was not immediately known.
A second suspect was placed under arrest, and there may be a third suspect who is still on the loose.
“We’re not absolutely certain right now if we have one outstanding suspect but we have other possibilities and the investigation is ongoing,” Chief Smith said.
The department has not released the names of the sergeant and officer involved in the fatal attack.
"This is one of the roughest hours of your career,” Chief Smith said. “There’s not a chief, not an officer that ever wants to have to deal with this. This is a very, very difficult thing for the family, and for the department.”
"Each and every day the men and women of the Birmingham Police Department do everything that we can to try to address crime within the city,” he said. “We do everything that we can to try to protect and serve the people of the city of Birmingham with pride with respect. We do everything we can to keep everyone safe.”
The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation into the incident with the assistance of officers from all of the Birmingham Police Department’s precincts, as well as the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Bessemer police.
"Mayor Randall Woodfin wishes to express thoughts and prayers for the two Birmingham police officers shot overnight in the line of duty in downtown Birmingham as they investigated car break-ins,” the City of Birmingham said in a statement, according to The Birmingham News.
“Sadly, a sergeant lost his life and another officer remains in the trauma unit at UAB Hospital. Please join the mayor as he prays for these officers, their loved ones, the police department and the city,” the statement continued. “Two suspects are in custody. his is a very difficult thing for the family and a very difficult thing for the department.”
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