LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Florence police detective is on paid administrative leave after shooting an armed suspect on Thursday.
Detective Michael Price, a five-year veteran of the Florence Police Department, shot a man fleeing a stolen vehicle.
Police held a press conference on Friday morning to outline the events.
"There's no worse call that any Florence Police officer or Lauderdale County deputy could hear come across the radio other than shots fired, and everybody is wondering, 'Who is it? Who fired the shots? Who's been hit? Has anyone been hit?' This is one of those cases where too much time, seemed like an eternity, had passed before we knew. And help was on the way, and we were relieved to learn that it was not an officer that was shot," said Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler.
A Florence police officer began pursuing a stolen truck around 1:30p.m. on Thursday. The officer called for backup, and the truck pulled into a Dollar General parking lot off Chisholm Road.
Detective Price arrived at the scene as the driver of the stolen truck began to flee on foot. The suspect matched the description of a man wanted in connection to a series of vehicle thefts in the area.
Officers stayed with two people who were passengers inside the stolen truck while Detective Price ran after the driver. The two people were detained but later released and were charged.
The suspect, identified as 42-year-old Chris Kilpatrick, ran 150 yards into the nearby woods. Police say Detective Price found Kilpatrick and a fight ensued.
Officers at the scene recall hearing gunshots and found the two men in the woods. Detective Price had Kilpatrick on the ground. Kilpatrick had sustained a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Police say a gun, believed to belong to Kilpatrick, was found in the area.
Kilpatrick had already been considered a wanted man for failing to return to work release. Kilpatrick had previously been serving for assault.
The injured suspect was taken to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. He remains there under guard.
The State Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation. Standard procedure dictates Detective Price remain on paid administrative leave through the investigation.
Criminal charges against Kilpatrick are pending the conclusion of the investigation. Chief Tyler could not be too specific because state police are investigating the incident, but he believes the suspect will be charged with attempted murder.
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