ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) – Millbrook Police Chief P.K. Johnson has confirmed that one person is dead following an officer-involved shooting that happened Thursday afternoon. Johnson said his officers are okay.
Johnson said 27-year-old Jae Wesley Hardy of Montgomery was killed.
Thursday afternoon there was a heavy law enforcement presence on Highway 14 near Exit 181 of Interstate 65 in Elmore County. The scene snarled traffic for hours, but as of 5 p.m., the scene was cleared and traffic was allowed to return to normal.
According to Johnson, around 12:24 p.m. Millbrook officers attempted to make contact with a suspect who was driving a reported stolen vehicle out of Prattville. The reported stolen vehicle also was said to have a handgun inside.
Johnson said officers saw the vehicle, a 2008 Dodge 2500 pick-up truck, turn into the parking lot of Marvin’s off of Highway 14 and an officer then attempted to make contact with the suspect. Johnson said the suspect exited the Dodge and got in a second vehicle – a 2000 GMC 2500 pick-up which Johnson said was registered to the suspect.
According to Johnson, the suspect ignored officers’ commands to stop and exit the vehicle, and fled westbound onto Highway 14 where he would reach speeds beyond 90 miles per hour, collide with three vehicles before coming to a stop at the intersection of Highway 14 and Interstate 65 due to traffic.
Johnson said officers approached the vehicle where the suspect produced a handgun, at which time Johnson said an officer opened fire.
Hardy was disarmed, removed from the vehicle and restrained, Johnson said. Johnson said Hardy was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation took the lead role at the Millbrook Police Department’s request.
“This investigation, as it pertains to the shooting, has been turned over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency State Bureau of Investigation, which is standard in an officer involved shooting. Based on my understanding of the events that occurred with regard to the events that occurred prior to the shooting and the fact that the individual was armed, it appears that our officers reacted as they were trained according to the situation that they were confronted with at that time,” said Johnson.
A witness told WSFA 12 News she heard sirens and when she looked up she saw police officers shoot someone. The witness said she saw two Millbrook police officers pull up behind a white pickup truck. She added that she heard five gunshots, all coming from the officers.
In a video posted on social media at least a dozen gunshots could be heard during the incident.