Update: Justin Chapman, 23 years old from Birmingham, Alabama, is facing charges of Attempted Murder (x2) and Burglary in the 2nd degree. Additional charges are pending.
He is currently in custody at the Oxford Municipal Detention Center.
The Oxford Police Department (OXPD) swiftly responded to an active shooter situation near the intersection of Alabama Highway 21 and I-20 on Thursday afternoon, September 7th.
Upon arrival, OXPD reports that the suspect was apprehended at the RaceTrac located on Alabama Highway 21 and Grace Street, and subsequently taken into custody.
Oxford Police state that multiple gunshots were discharged at the scene.
The incident began when police received a report of an erratic driver on Alabama 21 Northbound, around 11:45 a.m., at the on-ramp of Alabama Hwy 21.
Officials report that the suspect exited his vehicle and approached a man who was standing on the roadside, with no prior acquaintance between them. An altercation ensued, after which the suspect retrieved a firearm from his car.
A separate vehicle pulled over, and the driver inquired about the suspect’s actions. In response, the suspect discharged a shot towards the vehicle, fortunately missing the driver.
The individual who had been on the roadside rushed towards RaceTrac but was shot before managing to enter the store. Subsequently, the suspect advanced towards RaceTrac, which had just secured its doors due to the gunfire.
The suspect discharged shots at RaceTrac and at a vehicle in the parking lot, both of which were occupied. He was unable to gain entry to the store. Law enforcement promptly arrived at the scene, and the suspect surrendered immediately. Authorities report that the shooting victim is in critical condition and was airlifted to UAB Hospital.
The suspect, identified as a black male from Birmingham, was armed with a rifle.
Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge stated, “Road rage incidents are becoming more prevalent; this is the second one in our city this year.
It’s important not to confront individuals when they’re upset. Instead, try to distance yourself from them.”
The motive behind the suspect’s actions is currently unknown, and the investigation is still underway.