Priceville police say teen 'crushed' officer with stolen car bef - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Priceville police say teen 'crushed' officer with stolen car before fatal shooting

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
PRICEVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Priceville Police Department has issued a statement on the fatal shooting of a car theft suspect last Friday. The department describes an attack of the officer but does not specify if the suspect was armed.

Police say a 16-year-old stole a Mustang in Priceville and led multiple agencies on a pursuit into Huntsville. Authorities say the vehicle crashed into two others before stopping after the Bob Wallace Avenue exit off Interstate 565. A Priceville officer then shot and killed the suspect.

After being discharged from the hospital and returning to duty, the department identified the officer as Bryan Smith, a 10-year law enforcement veteran.

READ MORE: Police shoot, kill teen car theft suspect in multi-county pursuit

The suspect's name has not yet been released.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident.

Acting Priceville Police Chief Rick Williams released the following statement:

This has been an extremely difficult week for all of us in Priceville. As you know a 16 year old male unfortunately lost his life on Friday while engaged in felonious criminal activity.

Law enforcement is not an easy profession. We are taught to be prepared and are continuously trained for worst case scenarios. However, we dread the day when that training has to be put into action.

Unfortunately, there are times when an officer must take extreme measures to defend himself from an imminent threat of harm.

On Friday afternoon our officer was faced with such a time. During a pursuit of a vehicle identified as stolen, the driver exposed the public to great risk of harm. At the end of the pursuit, the car driven by the offender struck another vehicle and came to a stop. The officer's patrol vehicle came to a stop behind the stolen vehicle. The offender then suddenly backed the stolen car into the driver's side door of the patrol vehicle just as the officer was emerging from the vehicle to apprehend the offender. The officer was crushed between the door and the body of his vehicle, putting his life in immediate danger. Our officer responded appropriately to this threat to save his life with the use of deadly force.

ALEA is conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and that investigation remains active.

Out of deference to that investigation and to protect the privacy of our officer, we can not release additional details of the incident and we will not be releasing our officer's name at this time. He has been treated for his injuries and is presently on paid administrative leave. He has endured physical and emotional wounds as can be expected, and to the extent that he needs an opportunity to heal in private.

As for the teenager and his family, our thoughts and prayers go out to them during this time.

As I stated earlier, it's been a very difficult time for us and we ask that you also keep our officers in your thoughts and prayers as well.

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