|Scene of Huntsville Walmart shooting (source)|
(UPDATED -- See below)
An off-duty Sheriff's deputy was in a Walmart store in Huntsville, Alabama, when he observed a wanted felon with warrants against him. He confronted the man, David Horton, and Horton ran into the busy parking lot. The deputy gave chase, then shot Horton in the buttocks.
The deputy claimed the shooting was an accident, but witnesses claim he squared up and fired intentionally.
From an article:
Authorities reported a Morgan County deputy discharged his weapon at a south Huntsville Walmart while trying to apprehend a suspect who had felony warrants.
The shooting happened at the Walmart located on South Memorial Parkway near Hobbs Road at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Huntsville police said the suspect was shot in the buttock near the Garden Center.
Relatives identified the man shot by the deputy as David Horton. He was taken to Huntsville Hospital to be treated for his injuries and then later transferred to the custody of the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.
Witnesses said the deputy intentionally fired his weapon, but the deputy claimed otherwise. The deputy said he was trying to apprehend Horton, known to have violated parole, when his gun accidentally went off.
Investigators said they are hoping to get some clarity through surveillance footage, which gave them a bird's eye view of the shooting. Huntsville police said they are handling the case and are reviewing the video. They spent the day interviewing witnesses who saw what happened.
One witness said he saw the off-duty deputy aim and shoot. The deputy claims his gun fired accidentally.
No bystanders were injured in the shooting. Alberta Conley, a Madison County resident, was asked if she felt safe shopping there after the allegedly accidental shooting. "I am not afraid whenever we come here, but we always like to be aware of what's going," she said. "Things like this can happen anywhere.Walmart. Save money. Die faster.
UPDATE (4/18/14): The off-duty officer has now been arrested for the shooting and has resigned.
UPDATE (5/8/14): A lawyer for David Horton announced that Horton is seeking damages. From an article:
"This incident should have never happened," [Lawyer Tommy] James said. "While my client did have an outstanding probation violation pickup order, that in no way justified an off-duty deputy not in uniform, from another county, to shoot my client at a crowded Walmart."
"The law in Alabama clearly states that a law enforcement officer may only use deadly force if he or others are in imminent threat of harm. That was obviously not the case here as my client was grabbed by the deputy, who did not identify himself or show his badge, and was then shot in the back while trying to get away. The use of deadly force was clearly unjustified in this case and as a result my client was injured and many bystanders, including children, were put at severe risk."