ABI investigating events leading up to Tuesday shooting

Published 3:13 am Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
Alabama Bureau of Investigation officers arrived in Atmore late Tuesday evening to investigate the events leading up to a sheriff's deputy shooting a 21-year-old Atmore man a few hours earlier.
An Escambia County Sheriff's deputy shot Dayshawn Dixon in the left side of his neck after a second deputy attempted to arrest his brother, Derrick Dixon, 19, according to family members and eyewitnesses at the scene of the Fourth Street shooting.
"You are shooting to kill when you shoot up here," the brothers' grandfather, Willie Dixon, said as he pointed to his neck. "You are supposed to shoot down when you are trying to stop somebody."
Medics with Kelley's Ambulance Service transported Dayshawn Dixon to Atmore Community Hospital, and LifeFlight later airlifted him to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Fla.
"They said he was holding on," Willie Dixon said.
Officers from across the county, including Atmore, Flomaton, Brewton, East Brewton and Poarch were called to the scene to assist with crowd control and to help preserve the crime scene.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith would not comment on any specifics regarding the shooting and did not release the names of the officers in question, but he did say that the investigation was going to be handed over to the state.
"We've called ABI and asked them handle the investigation," Smith said. "The officers are going to be going around talking to folks asking anybody that may be potential witnesses so that will expedite the investigation."
Catina Dixon, who is a first cousin of the brothers and lives next door, said officers arrived to take Derrick Dixon into custody around 4 p.m. and the events following are what led to the shooting.
"He had started acting up a little bit, that's all," Willie Dixon said. "He was asking them, 'What did I do?' I was trying to talk to Derrick, and the officer was trying to put handcuffs on him. Derrick broke away and that's when he shot that taser on him. I told them if they would have let me talk to him, they could have got him in the car."
Family members said both brothers are mentally unstable and that officers had come to take Derrick Dixon back to Searcy Hospital in Mount Vernon, which they believe was at the request of the hospital. Family members did not specify what those problems were.
"Both of them have mental problems," Catina Dixon said. "They are certified at mental health and everything. I don't know why they came for him."
Derrick Dixon was able to flee officers despite being shot with a taser numerous times, family members said.
"They tasered him three times, and every time he got up, then he ran," Catina Dixon said.
That's when Dayshaun came outside to see what was going on, Catina Dixon said.
"Shaun came out asking what was going on, so the police officer pulled out his gun and shot him," she said. "I feel like they should have pulled out a taser first before shooting him with a gun."
Willie Dixon said the officer had to have been 10-12 feet away when he fired his gun.
"He got out of the car, pulled his gun and then 'Bam,'" Willie Dixon said. "He didn't tell him to get back or whatever. He shot him in the neck."
When the shots were fired, onlookers began arriving at the scene. Atmore Fire and Rescue Department personnel were called to block off Martin Luther King Avenue and other side streets to prevent additional onlookers from forming a crowd.
"Our first concern is to make sure everybody is all right," Smith said.
Smith said the officers involved in the shooting were taken to a nearby hospital to receive treatment for some cuts, scrapes and bruises.
"Our officers are going to be taken to a different hospital to cut down on attention and make sure the person who was shot gets all the medical treatment available and our officers do to," Smith said.

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