Break-in sus­pects al­legedly kill cop

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - NATION -

BIRM­ING­HAM, Ala. — One Birm­ing­ham po­lice sergeant was killed and an­other of­fi­cer crit­i­cally wounded early Sun­day in a shoot­ing as they ques­tioned two peo­ple sus­pected of try­ing to break into cars in Alabama’s largest city.

Two sus­pects were taken into cus­tody, in­clud­ing one who was shot and was re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal treat­ment, of­fi­cials said.

Po­lice iden­ti­fied the of­fi­cer who was fa­tally shot as Sgt. Wy­tasha Carter, 44, who had been with the depart­ment since 2011. They haven’t re­leased the names of the wounded of­fi­cer or the sus­pects.

Po­lice Chief Pa­trick Smith said the of­fi­cers ap­proached the two sus­pects just be­fore 2 a.m. out­side a night­club in down­town Birm­ing­ham af­ter a plain­clothes of­fi­cer spot­ted one check­ing door han­dles of cars parked out­side the venue. Smith said one sus­pect opened fire af­ter be­ing con­fronted by the of­fi­cers.

“This is one of the rough­est hours of your ca­reer,” Smith said. “There’s not a chief, not an of­fi­cer that ever wants to have to deal with this. This is a very dif­fi­cult thing for the fam­ily, very dif­fi­cult for the depart­ment.”

Of­fi­cers were work­ing a spe­cial de­tail in re­sponse to a rash of car break-ins in the area. When the un­der­cover of­fi­cer spot­ted sus­pects who ap­peared to be test­ing door han­dles on cars, he called for backup, of­fi­cials said.

“The of­fi­cers ap­proached one sus­pect and pat­ted him down where they found what they be­lieved to be a weapon,” Smith said. “They asked him about it, he armed him­self and fired upon our of­fi­cers.

“They were taken com­pletely by sur­prise. We can’t go into great de­tail be­cause we are still in the in­fancy stage of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

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