Two fatal shootings by police officers under review; one family says deputies went to wrong house

Published 10:06 pm Friday, January 6, 2023

The state law enforcement agency is investigating two separate fatal shootings by law enforcement officers.

Authorities released limited information about the shootings in Gadsden and in Hazel Green, a community in Madison County.

The Madison County sheriff’s office said 50-year-old Ray King of Hazel Green was killed Thursday when deputies were responding to a report of gunfire.

The office said in a statement that deputies were on patrol when they were advised of alleged gunshots being fired during a domestic dispute outside of one of the houses on the block. Deputies “made contact” with King, who had a gun, the office said in a statement Deputies fired their weapons, striking King who died at the scene.

Authorities did not release any additional information about what happened before the shooting.

However, WHNT and WAFF reported that family members said that deputies responded to the wrong house. They said the domestic dispute involved a female family member at a nearby home and not King. The stations did not name the family members. WHNT said the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to the TV station’s inquiry about the family’s claims.

Neighbor Roy Thompson told WHNT that he heard the shots but didn’t learn what happened until Friday.

“Ray was a real good guy, would do anything in the world for you and he was a good dad, you know, and he was just a likable person, he really was and I really hate that, you know,” Thompson told the station.

A spokesperson for Madison County Schools told news outlets that King had worked as a custodian at New Market School for the last 15 years.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is reviewing the shooting. It is routine for the state agency, or another local law enforcement agency, to review fatal shootings by police officers.

The state agency is also reviewing a Friday shooting in Gadsden that killed Cody Stewart, 28. The shooting involved officers with the Gadsden Police Department. Authorities did not release any additional information about what led to the shooting.