DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Fulford turned himself in to Huntsville Police Friday afternoon to face a charge of 2nd degree assault, the result of a shooting Tuesday at the South Parkway Walmart. Fulford was later released on a $5,000 bond.
A news release from Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin says she will meet with Fulford Monday to discuss his status with the sheriff’s department.
Fulford was off-duty and at the Walmart in Huntsville early Tuesday afternoon when he told investigators he recognized David Horton who the department held a felony arrest warrant for. As Fulford tried to arrest Horton, he fled. Surveillance video from the store shows Fulford running with his weapon drawn and it fires. The bullet struck Horton in the buttocks. He was treated and released from Huntsville Hospital before being arrested and transported to the Morgan County Jail.
Fulford told investigators his gun fired accidentally during the foot pursuit. He was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. As a result of the criminal charge, he has been placed on leave without pay.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Franklin told WHNT News 19 that off-duty incidents such as this place officers in difficult situations. “They are bound by their oath 24/7, whether on duty or not,” she said. She added, “But the same rules and regulations apply.” Franklin said Fulford would have been in violation of his oath had he not taken action to apprehend Horton.
Horton remains in the Morgan County Jail without bond facing two counts of assault, community corrections violations and felony probation violation.