Both TPD Officers Injured in Monday Shooting Discharged from DCH
Both of the Tuscaloosa Police Officers injured at the Links at Tuscaloosa apartment complex Monday afternoon have been treated and released from DCH Regional Medical Center.
In a Monday night update, TPD Spokeswoman Stephanie Taylor said the incident began around 3:40 p.m., when officers were called to the scene on reports of a man walking around with a gun.
When police arrived, they found a 20-year-old man on the golf course there with a firearm.
The man allegedly ignored multiple commands to drop his weapon, then took off towards the lake on the golf course. He then fired several shots at pursuing officers, one of which struck a TPD officer in his torso. A bullet-proof vest stopped the round, and the officer escaped the shooting with only bruised ribs.
Dozens of officers from TPD, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Northport Police Department and the University of Alabama Police Department responded to the scene and eventually found the suspect hiding in shallow water at the edge of the lake.
The 20-year-old man surrendered to the overwhelming force without further incident, and was taken by ambulance to DCH Regional Medical Center for treatment of a gunshot wound to his hand.
Taylor said a second officer was injured in the incident, but not seriously, and she was not shot.
Both officers were treated and discharged from DCH Regional Medical Center by 7 p.m. Monday. The suspect remained hospitalized Monday evening.
Now, the investigation of the shooting will begin in earnest, and Taylor said officers from outside the Tuscaloosa Police Department will conduct that investigation per department policy. Those officers will determine what charges the suspect will face.
The man's identity will not be released until he is formally charged.
Also per policy, TPD is launching an internal investigation of the three officers involved in the shooting, who will be placed on administrative leave until its conclusion.
TPD Chief Brent Blankley said the bulletproof vest likely saved the officer's life and thanked the dozens of men and women of law enforcement who came running towards danger to back up the TPD officers at the complex.
“I’m proud of the way these officers responded, in this dangerous situation where their lives and the lives of others were in serious danger,” he said. “We are very fortunate no one was seriously injured and that the bulletproof vest saved an officer’s life today.”
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