LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The suspect accused of exchanging gunfire with Limestone County deputies from a stolen vehicle and setting a residence on fire is facing additional charges.
Ronnie Tyler Gwynn Parker, 25, is now charged with possession of a destructive device or weapon intended to cause harm, two counts of third-degree criminal mischief, and attempting to elude by any means. He remains in the Limestone County Jail with a new total bond of $735,000.
Limestone County sheriff’s investigators say they located a device in the front seat of the stolen Jeep that Parker used to elude deputies before abandoning it. That device was later determined to be a homemade improvised explosive device.
The additional criminal mischief charges are related to damage done to a patrol vehicle and a private fence.
Parker was arrested on Oct. 21 and originally charged with five counts of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping, one count of arson, one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle, and one count of theft.
It started after deputies responded to a report of a stolen truck on Piney Chapel Road at about 6 a.m. Oct. 21. They located the truck and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver led them on a pursuit.
During the pursuit, the driver backed into a patrol unit and then fired gunshots at the deputies. Two of the five pursuing deputies returned fire. No one was hit.
Deputies say at one point, Parker rammed a patrol vehicle.
The suspect fled the scene, but the truck was later found abandoned in a wooded area off of Alabama 127 north of Athens.
Deputies say that Parker then forced himself into a home on Sewell Road before setting it on fire. The home was a total loss.
“When you’ve been in law enforcement as long as I’ve been, you think you’ve seen it all, but I know that’s not true because I know in the next day or two I’m going to see something more bizarre and something different," said Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.
Blakely believes Parker was strung out on methamphetamine.
Everyone made it out of the home safely, but not after some dramatic rescue. Blakely says Parker’s girlfriend consistently tried convincing him to surrender to authorities. Deputies pulled her out of the burning home through a back window.
With the random nature of the events, residents in that neighborhood are concerned this type of violence will occur again. “I’m very bad at leaving the door unlocked because we’re such good friends around here, but yeah for now on they’ll be locked," said Robert Fleming.
Richard Terry was at church on Sewell during the standoff. He praises the work of authorities.
“Police were on it immediately. Sheriff’s department was on it, and we’re thankful for the way they worked it out," said Terry.