UNA police chief discusses officer-involved shooting

Updated: Jul. 12, 2017 at 6:30 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - The University of North Alabama's police chief spoke out about the officer-involved shooting for the first time.

A woman was shot by a UNA officer during a traffic stop. UNA Police Chief Kevin Gillilan said his officer had to make a split-second decision and followed his training.

"It is always a dangerous job and it will continue to be. Again, you never hope to have these incidents occur but it's good to know when they do the officers have the training that they need to survive and in counter like this," said Gillilan.

READ MORE: Woman shot by UNA police in fair condition

It was just after 3 a.m. Sunday when the officer pulled over Jessica Dye near campus for suspicion of driving impaired.

Gillilan said he's reviewed the body cam video from the incident. He said during the stop, his officer confirmed Dye had a criminal record and an outstanding warrant. When that officer tried to arrest her, Gillilan said she put the car in reverse and stepped on the gas, aiming the car towards the policeman. That's when the officer had to open fire.

"I know that there was an attempt to use the vehicle as a deadly weapon in this incident. As far as any firearms in the vehicle, we just don't know that at this point," Gillilan said.

"We support our officer and his actions. I personally don't know of anything he did outside of standard police policy. I believe his intentions were to do everything to avoid a situation like this. There were several attempts made to de-escalate the situation so I have no concerns," he said.

Gillilan continued by saying Dye continued her efforts to flee the scene by striking the officers patrol vehicle jumping a curb and continuing on Pine Street. The officer refrained from firing any additional shots, as Dye was no longer accelerating towards the officer.

Gillilan couldn't say how many shots were fired or where Dye was hit.

The officer involved is a five-year veteran.

"He is physically uninjured. However, he has been through a traumatic incident and it will be something that will surely impact him for the rest of his life," Gillilan said.

The officer will remain on leave until the state finishes their investigation.

Dye remains in fair condition and no charges have been made.

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