Alabama mayor and Baptist pastor commits suicide after website publishes transgender photos of him

Published 9:47 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

An Alabama mayor and Baptist pastor apparently committed suicide Friday after a website published photos of him wearing women’s clothes

Smiths Station Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland shot himself in front of sheriff’s deputies, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said. Copeland was also serving as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Phenix City.

The shooting occurred at approximately 5 p.m. Friday, deputies said.

Someone called deputies to check on Copeland who was located in a vehicle. He led police on a low-speed pursuit, deputies said, before he reportedly stopped the car, exited the vehicle and brandished a gun and turned the gun on himself.

The incident came after a website called “1819 News” published images of Copeland wearing women’s clothes and heavy facial makeup.

The pastor apologized for any embarrassment his private life caused and claimed the article was merely an online attack against him and vowed Wednesday not to let it change his life.