Suspect charged with capital murder in shooting of Tuscaloosa police officer Dornell Cousette

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Update (9/17): Luther Bernard Watkins, 20, has been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Ofc. Dornell Cousette of the Tuscaloosa Police Department Monday night.

20-year-old Luther Bernard Watkins

During a press conference held at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Jack Kennedy of the department’s Violent Crimes Unit gave more details surrounding Cousette’s death and how Watkins may have been involved.

WATCH:  20-year-old Luther Bernard Watkins appears as police take him into custody. He is charged with shooting and killing Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette. 

Tuscaloosa Police Officer Perp Walk

BREAKING LIVE: 20-year-old Luther Bernard Watkins appears as police take him into custody. He is charged with shooting and killing Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette. Details: http://bit.ly/32KvEX5

Posted by CBS 42 on Friday, September 20, 2019

According to Kennedy, Cousette received information on Watkins’ whereabouts and was en route to arrest him. At the time, Watkins’ had outstanding warrants involving different robbery.

Kennedy said Cousette, who was on duty and in full uniform, drove by a residence and observed Watkins on the front lawn. Seeing Cousette, Watkins fled to another residence next door and Cousette pursued him inside the house.

“Almost immediately, gun fire erupted inside,” Kennedy said. “Both were struck and Watkins fled.”

Kennedy said Watkins was arrested and taken into custody a short time after the shooting. Watkins is now in custody at an undisclosed location, recovering from injuries he sustained in the shooting. He is being held without bond.

Sheriff Ron Abernathy said it was a sad day in Tuscaloosa.

“Ofc. Cousette died while serving the city of Tuscaloosa and this community,” Abernathy said. “This is a time of deep mourning for all law enforcement, especially the men and women that serve in this close knit community.”

A fundraiser has been started for the family of Cousette. To donate, click here.

WATCH: Procession underway for Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette, who was killed in the line of duty.

Procession underway for Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette, who was killed in the line of duty

WATCH: Procession underway for Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette, who was killed in the line of duty Monday night. Details: http://bit.ly/32KvEX5

Posted by CBS 42 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

WATCH: Tuscaloosa Police Department holds a press conference on the deadly officer-involved shooting investigation.

Tuscaloosa Police Department holds a press conference on the deadly officer-involved shooting investigation

BREAKING UPDATE: Tuscaloosa Police Department holds a press conference on the deadly officer-involved shooting investigation. Details: http://bit.ly/32Lgzoa

Posted by CBS 42 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

(9/16): The Tuscaloosa Police officer who was shot Monday night has died from their injuries, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said in a press conference.

13-year veteran Dornell Cousette, 40, was the officer involved in the shooting. He was the father to two daughters, Mayor Maddox said.

According to the press conference, Cousette had chased the suspect into a home and that is when gunshots were exchanged. The incident happened around 6:23 p.m., according to Interim Cheif Mitt Tubbs.

The suspect was wanted on felony charges when Cousette went to serve a warrant for his arrest. He was also hit during the exchange of gunfire. No information was released on their condition.

Cousette is the fourth Alabama police officer killed in the line of duty in 2019.

Watch the full press conference here:

BREAKING: The Tuscaloosa Police officer who was shot Monday night has died from their injuries, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said in a press conference.DETAILS: https://bit.ly/2kkzZj8

Posted by CBS 42 on Monday, September 16, 2019

Original (9/16): Authorities are investigating an officer-involved shooting that left a police officer injured Monday afternoon.

The officer’s condition is unknown at this time. The incident occurred near Short 17th Street and 33rd Ave.

The officer has been taken to DCH Regional Medical Center for their injuries. The incidents surrounding the shooting are also unknown.

A suspect is in custody, according to the city of Tuscaloosa. They say there is “no further danger” to the area.

“Our thoughts and prayers tonight remain with this Tuscaloosa PD Officer who was yet another victim of violence against law enforcement while in the line and now fights for life,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay E. Town said in a tweet. “We hold vigil for him, his family, and all of TPD.”

No other information has been released at this time. Stay with CBS 42 as more information is released.

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