Alabama police officer killed, another still critical after ambush shooting

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

An Alabama police officer has died and another was critically wounded after being shot by a man who was captured after barricading himself inside an apartment, authorities said.

A woman called 911 on Tuesday afternoon and reported that she had been shot, Huntsville Deputy Police Chief Michael Johnson told news outlets. Officers arriving at the scene found the shooting victim, whose injuries were not life-threatening. The suspect fired at the two officers, hitting them both, and barricaded himself inside an apartment.

The officers were transported to a hospital, where one died from his injuries and the other underwent emergency surgery and was in critical condition, city officials said in a news release.

The suspect was apprehended a little more than an hour later and transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the city said.

“This is a devastating loss for our department, the Huntsville community and the state of Alabama,” Huntsville Police Chief Kirk Giles said in a statement. “As we grieve with our fallen officer’s family, we have another officer fighting for his life. Please keep all our officers and the entire department in your prayers.”

The department did not immediately release the name of the officer killed but Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall identified him as Officer Garrett Crumby, a three-year veteran of the Huntsville Police Department who previously served for eight years with the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

Marshall said the two officers were ambushed by an armed suspect when they arrived at the scene.

Jail records show that Juan Robert Laws, 24, was arrested by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and booked into the Madison County Jail on a charge of capital murder of a law enforcement officer. He was being held without bond.

“Tonight, our State grieves the death of another member of the law enforcement community— one who, when called upon, ran toward danger in aide of a female victim,” Marshall said in a statement.

Officers huddled in prayer outside the hospital where the officer was taken and later surrounding the hearse that was called to transport his body for autopsy.

“This is a painful night for the city of Huntsville and for our police family,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “We are heartbroken. Words cannot express our loss. We have been overwhelmed by the show of love and support from our community, and we stand united with our police officers and their families in this tragic moment.”