Break-in suspects allegedly kill cop
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.”