Dozens of gunshots were fired in downtown Birmingham Wednesday evening, severely injuring a police officer and killing a man suspected of robbing a downtown supermarket.
It all started about 6:30 p.m. When North Precinct Officers Were Dispatched to a Robbery in Progress at the Family Supermarket, a mom-n-pop store on 23rd Street North.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said: They encountered and attempted to stop him.
Officer Cullen Stafford was shot multiple times.
Fellow officers loaded him into a cruiser and rushed him to UAB Hospital's Trauma Center. Stafford, shot between five to seven times, what's out of surgery by 1
" We often talk about how our officers put their lives on the line every day for our safety, "said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin." Tonight is proof of the courage, valor and strength Officer Stafford, your city stands with you. "
Multiple officers responded to Stafford's call for help and they were arrested Was killed His name has not yet been released.
Smith said the suspect fired from multiple locations, but the final burst of gunfire took place near a parking deck in the 500 block of 25th Street deck.
Authorities estimate between 50 to 100 rounds were fired as a running gun battle and an ambush.
continuing to fire, w here he was finally killed. Police have not confirmed that account. At least one person is doing a live video from inside the store, and then after exiting the store. That video recorded dozens of shots fired.
As of 10:30 p.m.
A second officer fell and suffered injuries in a severe case. Smith said.
The crime scene is suspected to be closed down five city blocks.
"He fired from multiple locations, so we have many crime scenes within a very large crime scene because of the number of times the suspect fired at our officers," he said.
Smith praised the The shooting comes six months after the shooting death of Birmingham.
The shooting comes six months after the shooting death of Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter, who was killed in downtown Birmingham Officer Lucas Allums was seriously injured in that shooting.
Wednesday night's shooting is not the first line of duty injury for Stafford, a veteran officer who turns 36 on Thursday.
Winston Hunt Stafford and officer were heavily injured on June 30, 2017 when fleeing homicide suspects barreled into their patrol cruiser.
Hunt at Birmingham Police Academy on March 17. Officers working in the homicide scene spotted the possible suspect vehicle. They confirmed that it was in fact the suspects and a pursuit. Bryan Shelton said at the time. Another patrol car arrives at the intersection of 18th and Grant, Sgt. The suspects' vehicle made its way to that area and collided with the patrol car sitting at 18th and Grant.
Stafford in 2017 was named the West Precinct's first Officer of the Year. Stafford was selected as the 2016 winner. Capt. Paul Irwin, who is now the Pell City Police, said: "Officer Stafford has been trained as a training officer for several years."
He said at the time Stafford so continuously responds to Shot Spotter calls. "”/>
UAB Hospital Wednesday night. Police officials said Stafford wants to have additional surgeries for his injuries.
"It's very difficult for everyone, but this is a very tough job," Smith said Wednesday night. "We've got a lot of support. Sgt. Carter. "
" I'm very confident our officers will do well, "he said," it's just
"The Birmingham Police Department is working here for you," the chief said. "We're going to do everything we can to make this city safe. Our officers are dedicated, and you can see them in action. Birmingham is going to be a much better place in the future. "
Asked if he had a message for criminals, Smith said:" Our officers here are on the way to taking care of the
Hours after Stafford was injured, a South Precinct officer fired his weapon after witnessing two groups of people shooting at each other in the Southtown public housing community.
One person was shot in that incident ,
"Birmingham police spokesman Sgt." Johnny Williams said, "I believe they were injured when the police arrived on the scene