FRISCO CITY, Ala. (WKRG) – A customer at a convenience store in Monroe County is dead following an attempted carjacking Thursday morning. Crime scene tape and a heavy law enforcement presence surrounded the Frisco City Food Mart in the heart of town for nearly 5 hours.
“The initial call went out as the subject with a knife was blocking the front entrance of the door. While deputies were responding to the call deputies got a second 911 call that the subject had carjacked a vehicle,” said Sheriff Tom Boatwright.
This all unfolded around 8 a.m. Thursday. Boatwright says the suspect, Charles Dale who is also known by Rat to locals, hopped into a customer’s car. He says Dale fired a shot inside the vehicle, striking and ultimately killing the driver. That car slammed into a tree behind the convenience store. That’s when Sheriff Boatwright says the suspect found another vehicle in the parking lot and barricaded himself inside with a rifle.
“He fired a shot at the officers. One of our deputies was trying to take cover and fell and broke his shoulder,” added Boatwright.
The sheriff says deputies returned fire, striking Dale twice. He suffered injuries to his eye and shoulder but was expected to survive.
“This is a prime example of the failure of the mental health system in Alabama,” the sheriff continued.
Sheriff Boatwright says the suspect has been in and out of mental health facilities over the years but gets released each time after a short stay. Boatwright says Dale is known to law enforcement in the community and has aggravated business owners in the area in recent days.
“I’ve seen him get into confrontations with other people, but it never led to this,” said Darian Frye who says she witnessed the suspect walking along Highway 21 on occasion. Highway 21 reopened to traffic around 2 p.m. Thursday.