Officer's shot fatally wounds

Published 4:53 am Wednesday, May 27, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Three Atmore police officers are on paid administrative leave following a car chase that began in town early Sunday morning and ended with gunfire in the Walnut Hill, Fla. area.
Danny Williams, 33, the driver of the car that eluded officers, died Monday at University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile from a gunshot wound to the head.
Atmore Public Safety Director Glenn Carlee confirmed Williams’ death Tuesday.
Carlee said officers attempted to stop the white Nissan Altima Williams was driving under suspicion that it was involved in a call the police department had received earlier.
According to a press release from the Atmore Police Department, officers began pursuit of the vehicle in the area of Ashley Street and Carver Avenue, near the location of the shots fired call, after seeing it travel at high speeds and run a stop sign.
Officers then attempted to pull over the vehicle to no avail. The release states Williams led officers through residential areas using evasive measures and running stop signs.
At 1:37 a.m., the pursuing officers reported they were following the vehicle onto Hwy. 97 south into Florida, staying back while awaiting the arrival of Florida officers.
Williams turned east on Hwy. 164 and then north towards Gobbler Road, then got back on Hwy. 97 heading south and crossing into the northbound lane in a reported apparent attempt to hit the Atmore police unit head on.
This caused the police vehicle to leave the roadway and head into a field where it got stuck.
Williams then made a U-turn and backed into a wheat field south of this location, where his vehicle also became stuck.
According to the release, two other Atmore officers also in pursuit of the vehicle thought the vehicle had ended the pursuit and exited their vehicles approaching Williams and his passenger, an adult male, with weapons drawn.
Both men were ordered to raise their hands and the passenger immediately complied. The officers at the scene said the passenger pleaded with Williams to follow the officers’ orders.
The release states that when the officers repeated their orders, Williams turned the vehicle towards the lead officer and drove towards him, causing the lead officer to fall back to avoid being hit. Williams then turned the vehicle towards the second officer who fired shots. The lead officer also fired shots towards the back of the vehicle after getting back on his feet.
Williams then got back on Hwy. 97 and traveled north towards where the other patrol unit was stuck. Williams too left the roadway and became stuck in the same field.
At 1:45 a.m., officers requested medical assistance at the scene. Williams was transported by Atmore Ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital and later to USA Medical Center.
Williams’ passenger was interviewed and released without charges.
The Escambia County Fla. Sheriff’s Department, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were called to conduct the investigation.
Carlee said the three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. He said the names of the officers would not be released at this time and that the leave was normal procedure.
Special Agent Supervisor Carl Causey with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Tuesday that no comments could be made on the case at this time, and evidence was still being gathered to submit to the state attorney’s office.

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