Prichard Police Shoots Car at Road Block

Prichard Police Shoots Car at Road Block

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PRICHARD, Ala. - As Prichard firefighters worked to get a burning blaze under control that claimed a life on Hwy 45, Prichard police conducted crowd control.

"We had to be careful that cars didn't go over those lines and now you start losing water or you blow a line and now you can't handle a fire - which was a very serious fire," said Prichard Police Chief Speziale.

A little farther down the street from the fire, Prichard Police were directing traffic. One driver failed to stop, so an officer opened fire on her car.
Chief Speziale says an internal investigation is underway.

 "A police officer tries to tell someone to stop or to slow down as they are coming and that individual became confused or disoriented, punches the car and now the car is headed at the officer. As he is yelling stop, stop, stop, the car is coming is his direction and it's getting quicker and quicker and as the captain explained from doing the investigation, the officer drew his weapon, kept yelling stop, stop. At that point he was in fear for his safety and his life and he fired into the engine of the vehicle," said Chief Speziale.

Multiple shots were fired at the car. People in the community feel the officer went to far.

"Wow. That's kinda absurd you ask me," said Donald Ramsey.

"Opening fire on a old lady. That's too forceful. I mean there was no reason to open fire. There was no weapon," said Tashunda Montgomery.

"I just don't see no reason why. She should've stopped, but I don't see where they should've opened fire though," said Alfred Goodwin.

Chief Speziale says when it comes to using deadly force, it's an individual decision each officer has to make.

How do they feel at that point? Do they feel like their life was in danger? Do they feel that somebody else's life was in danger? We do it as a matter of protecting somebody else's life or protecting our own life," he said.

The officer involved in the shooting and the driver's names have not been released. The police chief says the driver was remorseful once she realized what was going on. He also says as of now Prichard police officers carry a guns and batons, but starting next month they will be equipped with tasers - a less lethal option of force.
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