Gun recovered after MPD shootout was stolen from officer’s home

Local News

UPDATE (4:35 p.m.) — The gun that was stolen from the officer’s home in April was a personal firearm, not a service weapon, according to Chief Lawrence Battiste.

The chief says the gun was stolen from the home of a recruit who is no longer with the department.


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Court documents show a gun recovered after a shootout with Mobile Police on Thursday was stolen from a Mobile Police Officer’s home in April.

We’ve learned Johnny Vail, who has been arrested in connection with the shootout, is also facing federal gun charges. He is charged with Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Stolen Firearm.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, a Mobile Police Officer was familiar with Vail as being a drug dealer. Vail was with Andrew Lee Mitchell when officers tried to stop Vail on Duval Street in the RV Taylor community. That’s when Mitchell pulled out a Springfield .40 caliber gun and fired at officers as they were getting out of their vehicle, according to the complaint. Police returned fire striking Mitchell twice and striking Vail at least once.

Vail dropped a Glock as he ran into the abandoned apartment, according to the complaint. Vail surrendered to police about two hours later. Vail told police he was given the gun in May 2018 when he got out of prison. When police ran the serial number on the Glock, it came back stolen from a residential burglary of a Mobile Police Officer that happened on April 26, 2019, according to the criminal complaint.

Vail had served time in prison after pleading guilty to an Obstruction of Justice charge in 2017. Court records show he gave a fake name when he was arrested to try and avoid prosecution.

Mitchell has not yet been charged in connection with this case. At last check he remains in the hospital.

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