Alabama deputy shoots, kills hammer-wielding man near Walmart store

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, January 9, 2020

An Alabama deputy fatally shot a man who was threatening the officer with a hammer outside a Walmart store on Thursday, authorities said.

Store workers called to report a possible theft, and a deputy who was already at the Walmart saw a man outside, said Paul Burch, a spokesman for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputy confronted the man, who began threatening the officer with a claw hammer, Burch told WALA-TV. More than one witness heard the man tell the officer: “You’re either going to have to kill me or I’m going to kill you,” Burch said.

The man refused to drop the hammer and the deputy fired once, killing the person. Burch said the dead man was a 34-year-old Mississippi resident who may have been living in the area, but no names were released.

Sheriff Sam Cochran told WPMI-TV that the shooting appeared justified. A stun gun failed to stop the suspect, he said.

Video showed police tape strung around a section of the store parking lot and workers loading a body into a van. The shooting happened in Semmes, a small city located west of Mobile.