MCSO: Shoplifter with hammer shot, killed by deputy at Semmes Walmart

Mobile County

UPDATE (9:00 a.m. Jan. 10 2020) — 34-year-old Bernie Wade Johnson has been identified as the man shot by a Mobile County Sheriff’s deputy Thursday.

His grandmother previously identified Johnson to News 5, describing him as suffering from mental illness, (schizophrenia) and in need of help. She said Johnson would steal things in order to get put in jail to have a place to stay.

UPDATE (2:30 p.m.) — The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect was shot after the deputy attempted to get the man to comply, which he refused. The sheriff’s office says the deputy pulled his taser on the man, but before he could deploy the taser, the man pulled out a claw hammer and advanced on the deputy. The deputy told him to drop the hammer, but he continued to advance on the deputy who shot the suspect one time, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office says, during that exchange, witnesses heard the suspect loudly say, “You’re going to kill me or I’m going to kill you” as he advanced on the deputy.

The husband of a woman who works at the Walmart told News 5 the man shot and killed by the deputy stole about $1,200 dollars worth of electronics. He walked out of the grocery side of the store. He says associates attempted to stop the man, but he picked up the hammer. The man then crossed the Walmart parking lot, to near the Foosacklys, where the confrontation then took place.

UPDATE (2:10 p.m.) — Captain Paul Burch with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office confirms a shoplifting suspect is dead. He says the suspect is a 34-year-old man from Mississippi.

Captain Burch says a deputy responded to a call of a man shoplifting at the Walmart and found him in the parking lot. The man was not compliant and attempted to attack the deputy with a hammer. The deputy then shot the man.

UPDATE (2:05 p.m.) — Witnesses say the suspect is dead as it looks as though a body bag was brought onto the scene. The suspect tried to attack the officer with a hammer and was shot and killed.

UPDATE (1:37 p.m.) — The Mobile Sheriff’s Department says an officer shot a suspect. The suspect’s condition is unknown at this time.

SEMMES, Ala. (WKRG) — According to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Department, a shooting involving an officer was reported at the Walmart in Semmes.

News 5 is on its to the scene for more details.

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