Shooting investigation continues
By By Adam Prestridge
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office is still awaiting the results of an ABI investigation concerning the shooting of an Atmore man last week.
Tuesday afternoon, while attempting to serve an order to commit Derrick Dixon, 19, of Atmore, Escambia County Sheriff's Office transportation officer Jimmy Payne shot Dixon's brother, Dayshawn Dixon, 21. According to sheriff Grover Smith, deputy Bruce Shue and Payne went to the Dixon home located on Fourth Street to serve a civil court order that had been signed in Escambia County Probate Court by the man's mother.
According to Smith, Dayshawn Dixon became involved in the altercation and threatened officers with a screwdriver. Officers ordered Dixon to stand down, but he refused. That's when Payne shot Dayshawn Dixon in the neck.
"We're waiting on the ABI's investigation," Smith said. "The officers' statements to me were that they used what they thought was very minimum force, which they believed was necessary to protect their own lives. We're going to keep an open mind and wait on the ABI to complete their investigation. We want to know all the facts and we are confident that the ABI will do a thorough job."
But members of the Dixon family had a different side of the story to tell than the officers.
"Shaun came out asking what was going on, so the police officer pulled out his gun and shot him," Catina Dixon, who is first cousin of the brothers and lives next door, said Tuesday minutes after the shooting. "I feel like they should have pulled out a taser first before shooting him with a gun."
The victims' grandfather, Willie Dixon, witnessed the shooting.
"He had started acting up a little bit, that's all," Willie Dixon said at the scene Tuesday. "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."
Willie Dixon said the officer had to have been 10-12 feet away when he fired his gun on his other grandson.
"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."
Willie Dixon believes excessive force was used on his grandson.
"You are shooting to kill when you shoot up here," the brothers' grandfather, Willie Dixon, said. "You are supposed to shoot down when you are trying to stop somebody."
Family members said both brothers are mentally unstable and that officers had come to take Derrick Dixon back to Searcy Hospital in Mount Vernon. Family members did not specify what those problems were.
Dayshawn Dixon was transported to Atmore Community Hospital following the shooting and later transported to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. by LifeFlight. Although his condition was critical, according to hospital officials Friday afternoon, he had been moved to a private room.
Smith said anyone with information regarding the shooting should contact the Alabama Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-392-8011.