DOTHAN, Ala. (WRBL) – An officer involved shooting is under investigation in Dothan following a chaotic morning with a police chase in stolen police car, an attempted carjacking, and drivers being shot at while headed to work.
According to officials, Dothan Police Chief William Benny requested ALEA’s SBI unit investigate the shooting, which happened on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
Officials say the incident, in which a Dothan Police Officer shot a suspect, happened at around 7:10 a.m. in the 2730 block of Ross Clark Circle in Dothan.
According to reports from our sister station WDHN, the suspect, identified as Jeffery Michael Stewart, age 42, was shot while actively engaging in gunfire with an officer.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Chief Benny called the incident a “major event.” He said it started with a phone call to 911 with reports of several vehicles being hit by another vehicle in the parking lot of a Motel 6.
According to Chief Benny, that was the beginning of a “chain of events” in which the vehicle, being driven by a suspect later identified as Stewart, ended driving to a Volkswagen dealership.
While the suspect was en route to the dealership, Chief Benny says he was shooting at other vehicles along the way.
When the suspect arrived at the dealership, he confronted two women, a mother and her daughter who were there to drop off a vehicle. According to Chief Benny, the suspect shot at one the women and attempting to carjack the other.
Just after, a police officer arrived at the dealership, according to Chief Benny. The suspect and the officer started shooting at each other. During this exchange, Chief Benny said the police officer left his car to find a “more tactical advantage.” It was at this point, according to Chief Benny, that the suspect was shot. After being shot, the suspect stole the police car, with a chase ensuing. The chase ended when the suspect, while driving the stolen police car, hit another police car, bringing it to a stop.
A negotiator was brought in and was able to get Stewart to exit the police car and surrender, according to Chief Benny. Stewart was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
No police officers were injured in the incident.
According to Chief Benny, Stewart will be facing multiple charges upon his release from the hospital.
Following the SBI’s investigation, the findings will be turned over to the Houston County District Attorney’s Office.