Update: The Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit reports that the individual who was shot and killed by Tuscaloosa Police officers on Wednesday was armed with a handgun. The incident occurred during a traffic stop on a public road in Bowers Park, and the individual refused to comply with officers’ demands.
Tuscaloosa authorities are looking into an incident involving an officer firing their weapon at Bowers Park.
At around 1 p.m., two Tuscaloosa Police officers conducted a traffic stop as part of an ongoing drug investigation.
The vehicle pulled over on James I. Harrison Parkway near Hargrove Road, and during the encounter, shots were fired, resulting in the death of a passenger in the vehicle.
Two Tuscaloosa Police officers are currently on administrative leave following their involvement in a Wednesday afternoon shooting near Bowers Park that resulted in Tristan Clark’s death.
Chief Brent Blankley expressed confidence in the decisions made by the officers.
During a press conference held three and a half hours after the fatal shooting on Wednesday afternoon, Captain Jack Kennedy, the commander of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, provided details to the local media about the incident.
Kennedy, an official from the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office rather than the Tuscaloosa Police Department, clarified, while accompanied by Tuscaloosa Police Chief Brent Blankley and Assistant Chief Sebo Sanders, that individuals associated with the TPD will not be engaged in the investigation of this case.
Providing an overview, Kennedy stated, “The officers were conducting a narcotics investigation on some subjects.
They ended up initiating a traffic stop for a traffic violation, and during the investigation, there was an altercation between the officers and one of the suspects. Shots were fired, and at this time, one individual is deceased.”
Kennedy provided limited details on Wednesday afternoon, emphasizing that the shooting had recently transpired and a comprehensive investigation was in progress.
He mentioned, “I’m not going to be able to give you any conclusions or facts until our initial investigation is complete.” Kennedy affirmed that the case would be treated like any other as Violent Crimes conducts its investigation, and the reason for the restrained statements was due to a lack of answers at the moment.
He assured that witness interviews, technological tools, discussions with officers, and the compilation of relevant information would be part of the investigative process.
The Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) will probably transfer its evidence to the District Attorney’s office for an evaluation of whether charges are warranted.
Chief Blankley confirmed that two officers participated in the fatal shooting and have been put on administrative leave as per TPD protocol. Blankley expressed confidence in the officers’ actions, stating, “Based on the facts I have, I am confident our officers acted the way they needed to act to make sure they got home safely.”
He emphasized the commitment to supporting the officers and ensuring they receive any necessary mental health treatment following the traumatic event.