UPDATE: Off-duty Morgan CO. Deputy Fires Shot at Suspect at Huntsville’s South Parkway Walmart

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – UPDATE: Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin says the man shot by one of her off-duty  deputies at a Huntsville Wal-Mart Tuesday is David Horton.

The deputy’s name has not been released.

Sheriff Franklin says Horton was wanted for a no bond felony probation violation issued October 23, 2013, according to court records obtained by WHNT News 19. The warrant stems from a third degree assault charge.

This is the man an off-duty Morgan County Sheriff deputy shot at a Huntsville Wal-mart Tuesday. (WHNT)

This is the man an off-duty Morgan County Sheriff deputy shot at a Huntsville Wal-mart Tuesday. (WHNT)

Horton has been released from Huntsville Hospital and transported and booked into the Morgan County Jail, according to Sheriff Franklin.

PREVIOUS REPORT

A man was shot by an off-duty Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy at the Wal-Mart on South Parkway Tuesday afternoon.

According to Huntsville Police Lieutenant Larry Childress, the off-duty deputy thought he recognized a suspect with active warrants against him in Morgan County while shopping at the Wal-Mart.

The deputy confronted the suspect inside the Wal-Mart, causing him to run from the building, away from the deputy. A shot was fired and the suspect was hit in the lower left leg, according to police.

When Huntsville Police arrived on the scene, the deputy told police his weapon accidentally discharged, hitting the man in the leg.

A witness on the scene told WHNT and Huntsville Police Investigators that the deputy stopped outside the store, squared up on the fleeing man and fired a shot.

The suspect was transported to the hospital.

Shoppers at the Wal-Mart were scared and shaken, but no one else was injured. Huntsville police are investigating the claims of the deputy and if the shot was accidentally discharged or not.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said her command staff is en route to the scene and the investigation into the reported shooting is just beginning.

Sheriff Franklin says the Huntsville Police and The Alabama Bureau of Investigations is handling the case at the moment.

WHNT News 19 made several attempts to obtain the video surveillance from the Wal-Mart, but those requests have so far been denied because of the ongoing investigation.

 

118 comments

  • Kyra Dahusky

    Looks like Morgan county deputy’s have moved from illegal shooting of dogs to illegal shooting of people.

    • Kyra Dahusky

      Sue you are an idiot you should learn the law.

      Off-duty jurisdiction within Morgan County:

      Off-duty employees retain full power and authority as Peace Officers within Morgan County. However, the Office has defined certain limitations to safeguard both the employee and the Office from unwarranted civil and criminal liability. When confronting a situation within the jurisdiction and it is reasonably assumed that law enforcement action is appropriate:
      a. When possible, employees shall immediately identify themselves as members of the Office prior to taking action.
      b. The employee shall take all reasonable steps, under all circumstances, to resolve the situation without the use of physical force.
      c. The employee shall contact an on-duty deputy as soon a possible and take only the necessary actions before the on-duty deputy arrives.
      d. An employee, who is on suspension, or in recruit training, may act with the citizen’s arrest powers afforded to every citizen. The employee is still obliged to report the incident to the appropriate on- duty deputy as soon as possible.
      e. An off-duty employee shall not stop, arrest or cite traffic violators except when the violation is flagrant and clearly dangerous enough to jeopardize the lives or safety of others and the employee is in a vehicle equipped with emergency equipment and the stop can be made safely.

      http://www.morgansheriff.net/docs/AdminPolicyTotal.pdf

      • cynthia

        How rude to call someone stupid. Especially when you just posted something from Morgan County, Colorado!

      • Adam

        Hahaha….epic fail. Do your research that involves correct state and not just copy and pasting the first thing that pops up in your google search. This just proves you didn’t even read it before you pasted because the cover page states these limitations are from Morgan County Colorado. Your the IDIOT!!!! haha

  • Steve Fuller

    You know what. If you have warrants don’t run. I bet the suspect will heed the warning next time.

    • B

      Ever heard of a tazer?! This was at Walmart, these cops are ignorant to the fact that bullets can ricochet and injure or even kill innocent people! When was the last time you were in Walmart and you didn’t see young mothers, kids playing, fathers, grandparents, and other innocent people around shopping?! And this idiot just draws down on a man that’s fleeing attempting to shoot him in the back? This cop needs to face some serious charges!!

      • Cd

        Why would an off duty cop have a taser on him? The man was wanted and probably not for something simple if the cop shot him. He didn’t kill him, nothing lethal about a leg shot. Would you rather have a rapist or thief out on the streets when someone had the opportunity to take them in? I don’t think so. I believe his actions are justified.

  • B

    Take his badge and gun!!!!! Absolutely ridiculous!!! If the man was running away, he obviously wasn’t much of a threat to the officer, the officer should have never drew his weapon!! These officers are putting the public in danger!! It has to be stopped!
    This incident is just as bad if not worse than HPD firing over 30 rounds at one man with a shotgun! I’m not saying the officers shouldn’t have shot the armed man, but that many high powered rounds in a public area is DANGEROUS to the public!! This is getting WAY out of hand!!

    • Red

      It just may be the best place to find your suspects. Except I’d quietly radio to somebody on the outside to jump him once he left the store. That would be a much better way to handle the situation, and I’m sure MOST other cops and deputies with a brain AND a gun would agree.

  • BOB

    “When Huntsville Police arrived on the scene, the deputy told police his weapon accidentally discharged, hitting the man in the leg.”

    Lets pull the security camera footage from Walmart and check that statement. I bet it was far from an accidental misfire. These trigger happy off duty deputies need to be held responsible for their careless actions !

  • Kyra Dahusky

    http://www.morgansheriff.net/docs/AdminPolicyTotal.pdf

    Off-duty jurisdiction within Morgan County:

    Off-duty employees retain full power and authority as Peace Officers within Morgan County. However, the Office has defined certain limitations to safeguard both the employee and the Office from unwarranted civil and criminal liability. When confronting a situation within the jurisdiction and it is reasonably assumed that law enforcement action is appropriate:
    a. When possible, employees shall immediately identify themselves as members of the Office prior to taking action.
    b. The employee shall take all reasonable steps, under all circumstances, to resolve the situation without the use of physical force.
    c. The employee shall contact an on-duty deputy as soon a possible and take only the necessary actions before the on-duty deputy arrives.
    d. An employee, who is on suspension, or in recruit training, may act with the citizen’s arrest powers afforded to every citizen. The employee is still obliged to report the incident to the appropriate on- duty deputy as soon as possible.
    e. An off-duty employee shall not stop, arrest or cite traffic violators except when the violation is flagrant and clearly dangerous enough to jeopardize the lives or safety of others and the employee is in a vehicle equipped with emergency equipment and the stop can be made safely.

    • LAC

      Kyra, technically any police officer holds jurisdiction anywhere in the state, as the are APOST certified. With that said, this looks pretty bad and looks that the officers used poor judgement and will probably face some disipline and a lawsuit as well, especially at first saying it was accidental, but I will reserve judgement until the facts come out. The officer may know that the offender is wanted on a serious felony and presents a threat. I am an officer and if I am off duty, the only person I am confronting is a person presenting a harm at that very moment or committing a serious crime. If I see someone I know is wanted on felony warrants then I would follow them and call the nearest PD to obtain custody of the person. If it is misdeamor warrants I woundnt even waste my time.

    • Adam

      You posted this again…you idiot!! Ill post the following again: Hahaha….epic fail. Do your research that involves correct state and not just copy and pasting the first thing that pops up in your google search. This just proves you didn’t even read it before you pasted because the cover page states these limitations are from Morgan County Colorado. Your the IDIOT!!!! haha

  • B

    He had to be a “hero” and arrest the man with warrants, that’s all it amounts to. The right thing for this off duty officer to do, would have been to sit back and keep an eye on the man until HPD showed up in uniform to arrest the man! He could have watched him the whole time without ever being noticed!

    • Red

      Exactly! Because the officer was off duty and not in a uniform, this guy probably had plenty of reasons to assume this person was not a cop. And as it stands, he might even have a lawsuit opportunity here as well. Soon as he gets out of jail for whatever this felony was, he will probably cash in.

  • kimbo9

    As a former Deputy for LA, there are 3 questions that you have to ask. Number 1 – Did the subject have a felony warrant? Number 2 – Did the subjust pose a threat to me or anyone else in the area? Number 3 – (most important) Do I have a good backstop (a clear and safe area behind and beyond the subject)? If the answer is YES to all 3 questions, then I would light him up in a heartbeat. If not, there is always tomorrow.

  • Tyler Jacobs

    Is that why you are a former deputy kimbo9, because you don’t know crap about the law, the deputy should be charged.

  • JOHN DOE

    I wonder who the suspect was & what the warrants were for? If it was a child molester I wish his trigger finger would have had around 15-20 cramps.

  • Bubba

    Deputy did the right thing. They should take out more of this TRASH more often! You have warrants and Run, you deserve instant justice. Why? Cause Stone Cold Bubba said so!

    • Linda Lou Who

      Gail – you have commented twice that I have read so far, and both times proved that you are no great intelligence. Someone who cannot even speak the language properly shouldn’t be calling other people “dummies.”

      • Terry Le Dactyl

        Thank you for commenting on that. :)

        The low rate of literacy in “particular parts” of this country is absolutely insane.

        Oh, for those scratching their heads…
        Literacy = the ability to read and write.

      • Erica Tripplehorn

        Linda, I accidentally clicked on Report comment for this one. I apologize if you get the notification for that.

        Terry Le Dactyl, your completely unnecessary comment actually shows your lack of education and awareness. These “particular parts” of the country, which I am sure you are referring to the south, actually have quite sufficient literacy. There are less intelligent and less educated people in large cities, in small towns, and in the north and the south. Your ideology is further behind than ours if you really think that way.

    • Erica Tripplehorn

      How* / You all* / making assumptions* / has already*

      For the record, you are also making an assumption as well stating that the officer has lied. The story specifically states that the evidence is still under investigation.

  • Irish Wolfhound

    Was this victim of mistaken identity by an off duty and out of jurisdiction civil servant of Hispanic or African decent?
    Was the perpetrator of this crime Anglo Saxon?
    Willing to bet the answers to both questions are yes.
    Not that the victims race mattered, but it just seems people of color are disproportionately and more often meeting more deadly force from Police. Seems like our peaceful quiet little towns are turning out to be just like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oakland. People gone get tired of it and the same actions that happen there will start happening here as well in reaction to incidents like this. They better handle it properly and by the book is all I can suggest. Incedents like this cause a display of less and less respect for officers. It doesn’t take but a few bad ones to make poor decisions and they’re all labeled as bad. Just like snakes!

    • R P

      The Morgan County off duty Sheriff shot a man while at a Wal-Mart in Madison County. Huntsville AL is in Madison County.

  • Jen

    What we have here, is a failure to follow the LAW by a LAWMAN. This is not a John Wayne film. Geez! New meaning to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  • Sig229

    A deputy sherriff’s law enforcement authority is state wide according to the Alabama constitution. They are not limited by county or jurisdictional areas like municipal officers. A department may set more restrictive guidelines, however, those more restrictive guidelines do not limit arrest powers given by the constitution. Even though he had legal authority to make the arrest,
    it may have shown poor judgement for him to do so in that environment and he definitely displayed poor trigger control. Also, simply having the authority does not allow an officer to over use force if it is found that he did in this case.

    • kimbo9

      It sounds like you are a law enforcement officer (see kimbo9 above – that’s me). LA is for Lower Alabama (Houston County).

    • dr floorman

      If he was on duty he could do what he wants to like grocery shop and everything else he is not supposed to do while in that uniform but out of the uniform he still gunned a man down point blank I would be in jail if it was me

  • Wake Up Jr.

    Wow, can’t believe I beat the master to the punch line.

    Another day in gunland!

    Take away the bad guns! Why couldn’t they have hugged it out and talked through their differences?

  • Noodle

    I am so glad that people can pull facts like the cop lied and what not from this small article that gives no details. Personally, I hold no judgement about what is going on and think the police department will handle this accordingly. Also, if that gentleman did have a warrant you have no clue what it could be for. For all you guys know he could have be consider extremely dangerous according to the warrant.

  • Amber

    If we are going off of the information in this article, it says the officer THOUGHT the man looked like someone who was wanted. Since when is it ok to THINK someone MAY be a person of interest and go all Barney 5 on the man shooting up the local Wal Mart? Somehow I feel we won’t ever get the full story on this

    • Noodle

      Yes, it did say that he thought the man had a warrant. However, it does not mean that he was wrong He could have simply pulled the gun to scare him into stopping and it accidentally fired or it could be a complete lie. It does not make the situation okay. The cop will probably be disciplined for his actions. An if he was wrong in assumption that the man had a warrant he will probably lose his job and go to court.

  • Lin

    So, it’s ok for off duty police officers to fire guns at supposed criminals in a crowded place?? No, from what the article says or doesn’t say, if those are facts, then that officer was WAY out of line.

  • Jim M

    run that Walmart Footage and see what happened. If that deputy struck the person due to an accidental discharge, I wonder how well he shoots when he aims..Also did the guy actually have a warrant against him? If so he shouldnt have any recourse since he is evading the law anyway but the officer should not have shot at him in public like that. Now if the guy was just an innocent civillian then that is another thing alltogether since one doesn’t go shopping at Walmart and expect to be shot at random..

  • Walt D.

    What a mess… I was there, Morgan Co. Should just go ahead & write that fool a check and tell Barney to hit the bricks…Maybe he’ll get lucky and not get indicted. Makes us all look like Circus clowns

  • K. Carter

    well he if he had no jurisdiction where he was then keep the huntsville cops in madison county they come over to morgan co all the time .

  • cs

    i wonder when they will give the super cops name? How does Ana get rid of the video walmart should have of him drawing down on this guy.

  • Jean

    Some people amaze me. I’m in this line of word. Does the story sound bad? Yes. Does it mean the news got it right? No. You guys are pissed because you say the officer rushed to judgement. Are you guys not rushing to judgement over a news article??? None of you were there. News gets it wrong a lot. Bash the police. It’s the hip thing to do until you need them and then they can’t get there fast enough for you.

  • Jean

    HPD has jurisdiction in Morgan County. Any county that has Huntsville city limits in it, HPD has jurisdiction in the whole county. LEARN FACTS BEFORE POSTING

  • Jean

    Several places. Look it up. I’m not doing your work for you. I’m telling you I would know this for a FACT

  • Laughing in Morgan County

    Looks like the probation violation warrant will be rescinded very soon because the suspect will have more than enough moolah to pay his probation payment after he gets the lead pulled out of his tail and meets Ana Franklin at the Morgan County Bank.

    Remember Ana Franklin was talking about how dangerous it was for folks to carry pistols in their own cars without first buying her permit? $$$

    She needs our money to finance more training & settle lawsuits.

  • Walt D.

    COH annexed in several acres into Limestone County, haven’t crossed into Morgan Co. yet. Does all CAPS mean your getting yelled at? Funny!

    • Michael

      He’s my leading candidate. Ana has already proven she will get her boys’ back no matter what they do and is content to let them cowboy up the county. Cavnar seems like he comes from the same branch of thinking. I don’t know much about Childers but he at least seems like he’ll hold his department accountable.

  • Latoyia Jackson

    I feel like all this is bull crap! So , they can speed without having their lights on causing a fatal accident. And gets away with it Now , it’s o.k for off duty
    cops to shoot at people because they have warrants ,now.what`s next

  • Michael

    What? A police officer would LIE? Oh no, that can’t be right. Look, I’m going to put aside the jurisdiction argument for a second. We could go ages with that one.

    So let’s talk about the situation at hand. I find it extremely unlikely that, during a foot chase, a gun would “discharge” and hit the suspect he was chasing in the leg. Even more disturbing, I see nowhere in the article where the suspect possessed a weapon of any kind or was any threat to the public. Was there ANY reason to cause a public scare like that? He was off duty and likely out of uniform. If you were a customer present at that time you’d see a man firing a gun at someone running for his life. You’d freak the heck out (not what I want to say). Just because he is a police officer excuse him from making such a reckless decision.

    I can’t wait to find out which deputy it was. Some of them I wouldn’t be surprised. I will be surprised however if Ana actually does anything about it.

    • dc

      The all the things that are happening these days. I’m surprised someone didn’t think he was some maniac shooting up Walmart and got their gun to stop him.

  • Anita

    Some people, like Jean that posted at 6;59 should take into consideration that there were many people there that have made their statements.Speaking for myself and that so called “0ff duty police officer did “ABSOLUTELY” NOTHING BY THE BOOK! I also know the law….VERY VERY WELL! So, find out your facts before you decide to stick up for a pathetic excuse for an officer just because your “line of work

    • Michael

      But Anita, I’m sure that officer got some dust on those boots during the chase. Someone’s gotta lick them clean.

  • Jean

    I’m sure you are a pathetic excuse of something. You get to sit back and Monday morning quarterback everything. Most of the people that second guess this stuff would never have the fortitude to ever try doing the job for a single day. I don’t hate you for it. I have learned to just laugh at how much some of you really know.

  • BC

    All this reminds me of a wise saying I learned years ago.When a man gets too sorry to work he goes into teaching, when he gets too sorry to do that he goes into selling cars, and when he gets too sorry for that he goes into police work.lol

  • George

    1. This Deputy has the right to enforce Alabama laws anywhere in the State of Alabama. According to APOSTC and Alabama code. He is allowed to arrest a person for a crime in his presence or a person he has probable cause of committing a felony not in his presence. He has to take that person to jail and go swear to the complaint at the local courthouse in the county where the crime was committed within 48 hours.
    2. Most Warrants (Writs) are written as follows. “To any law enforcement officer……. and it will state charges, name of suspect, signed by a judge and will instruct the officer to bring him or her to XYZ.. They don’t say any on duty officer in his city limits.
    3. as far as his actions for shooting a suspect he will be judged by SCOTUS ruling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_v._Garner
    and if he was performing his duties in accordance with department policy. He probably said his fired by accident because its not legal to seizure ie shoot an unarmed fleeing suspect in the back that is not posing an immediate threat to society.

  • hipkin

    b. The employee shall take all reasonable steps, under all circumstances, to resolve the situation without the use of physical force.

    I do believe that the use of a firearm counts as use of physical force.

  • Terry

    Looks like a lot of the police department posting on this….I think you should never shoot in a crowded place unless it was a life are death situation ….But he said his gun fired by accident. Sounds like he is covering all the bases……

  • brine

    per Gun safety rules, you never unholster a firearm unless you are intending to shoot it. An accidental discharge from a firearm when Holstered is highly unlikely, if not Completely impossible.
    therefore in order for a fleeing person to be “accidentally shot” it would have to be either underneath the police ( on the floor) or within 4~5 ft of the police depending on how high he Kicks his legs when he runs.

    a logical Conclusion would be that the shot was definitely fired intentionally.
    Once you unholster a weapon it is your intention to use it whether to attack or “defend” you are responsible for the consequences of what happens from that point. and there is no such thing as an ” accident ” you should be held fully accountable as if what you did was completely intentional.

  • James

    Jean Huntsville PD has no city limits or property in Morgan County. As for jurisdiction in whole county they dont have that either. Yes they can perform duties in whole state. You need to learn your facts first and quit making up stories how you work in the field because clearly your far from it.

  • Bill Brown

    It is my prayer that police will quit being so reckless. PLEASE PLEASE police of Alabama PLEASE stop endangering our children’s lives.

  • Bill

    Barnie is a alive and well in Morgan County,with one exception…he didn’t have his bullet in his pocket.
    On a more seriuos note…what would have happened if a concealed carrier had shot the deputy thinking he was the bad guy???
    This whole thing stinks!!!!!!

  • Law Enforcement Officer From Morgan County Area

    All law enforcement officers in Alabama are “APOSTC” certified (Alabama Peace”Officer Standards Training Commission).

    When they graduate from police academy they can serve as a law enforcement officer ANYWHERE in Alabama. A police officer from Mobile can make an arrest in Huntsville if the suspect broke a state law and vice versa.

    Police officers can’t enforce LOCAL ordinances out of their jurisdiction but they can enforce STATE LAWS anywhere within the STATE.

    If I am from Decatur and I am off duty and I decide to take a trip to Birmingham & observe a theft or domestic violence then I can make an arrest but my department will not pay me since that is not my job to serve as a police officer other than at my department but I can have the guy brought to jail. It as simple as that.

    Folks, YOU have the AUTHORITY TO ARREST. Just look at Wal Mart, Home Depot, the Malls or anywhere where the stores have Loss Prevention security. Private citizens that work for them make arrests EVERYDAY IN ALABAMA.

    I hope I helped you guys a little bit in clearing up the misunderstandings as to whether the Morgan County Deputy can make an arrest in Huntsville, legally he can do it all day long. He may not get a Morgan County check for it but he is well within his rights as an LEO to do so. I’ve only tried it ONE TIME in 10 years and it was under VERY SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. I was in my police car coming back from the gym & saw one of our local thieves who we have been looking for. He had felony burglary warrants…and was at Wal Mart.

    “The People of Wal Mart”.

    • Michael

      Honest question. This guy simply had a warrant. He wasn’t committing a crime at the time the deputy approached him. The deputy stated that he thought he recognized him, so even he wasn’t sure he had the right guy. Does the authority to arrest still apply?

      I haven’t been arguing the jurisdiction debate because I don’t know.

  • cs

    Mr. Law enforcement officer from morgan county this doesn’t make you special anyone wanting to get involved can do the same thing but can you go as far as shooting a unarmed man?

  • Dana

    This man was an off duty cop. He wasn’t even in his own Jurisdiction. He had no right to confront the guy. He should’ve called the police of the jurisdiction he was in but no he thought he was a big shot and could handle it. and there is no such thing as “accidental shootings”. If he pulled the gun he had full intention on shooting it. A triger doesn’t pull itself! I personally don’t think he should be allowed to be a cop anymore.

  • Bill Griffin

    I could be wrong, but arent there some statutes and procedures dealing whit a “Fleeing Felon”. That should end it if the tapes show him squaring up to shoot. Case Closed

  • Randy

    We all know how this will end because he is a police officer he will
    be found justified they always are no matter what the circumstances
    just reading some of the post put on here by police officers we know
    nothing will be done i see comments where they say none of us would
    do there jobs everyday i’m not impressed if the want to impress me spend 18 mo is iraq

    • Branko Pezdi

      Hopefully this trigger happy cop won’t get away with it because this time there are witnesses.

  • Randy

    If anyone is wondering the words to SERVE and PROTECT on officers patrol cars Means serve themself’s and protect one another

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