Family says Huntsville man injured in trooper-involved shooting suffered from mental illness

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A Huntsville man was injured in a trooper-involved shooting Friday morning on Old Madison Pike, just off Interstate 565.  This happened after the trooper pulled over the man, Jonathan MacKovjak, for going 100 miles per hour eastbound on the interstate, according to troopers.

Trooper spokesperson Curtis Summerville said MacKovjak, 38, exited I-565 east on Old Madison Pike.  The trooper walked up to the car and made contact with MacKovjak, asking for his driver's license.  MacKovjak started to drive off, hitting the trooper with the vehicle.  The trooper discharged his duty weapon at the vehicle, hitting MacKovjak in the upper body.

MacKovjak continued driving, and the trooper got in his patrol car to pursue him.  At some point the trooper lost him, Summerville said, but Huntsville Police were later able to catch up with him because the trooper had run his address from his license plate earlier.  It isn't clear where Huntsville Police made contact with MacKovjak, but they did find him at his home on Esslinger Court, off of Weatherly Road in south Huntsville.  From there, MacKovjak was taken to Huntsville Hospital by ambulance.

Police processed the man's car and later had it towed away.

mackovjak

Jonathan Mackovjak

 

MacKovjak's father tells WHNT News 19 he asked his son how he was injured when he returned home. He simply told his father "I got cut."

Paul MacKovjak says his son suffers from Aspergers and Schizophrenia. His father says his usually quiet son is prone to outbursts. Police have been called to the house in the past.

Paul Mackovjak says his son studied computer science over 3 years of college, and plays piano. He says in the past few years his condition has worsened.

Neighbors say they hope he can get help.

"We know he needs to be in a safe place. we hope the powers that be will handle this in a loving manner to put him somewhere where he will not be a danger to himself and the rest of us," said neighbor Charlotte Miller. "This is a child who grew up here and we love him and want him to be safe"

Trooper Summerville says MacKovjak is expected to recover. The trooper was not injured.

Summerville says charges are pending, although he didn't specify what those would be.  The case will be handed over to the Madison County District Attorney's Office.

Summerville was asked in the trooper had a body camera, or if his patrol car had a dash cam.  He said he was not sure yet.   The State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case further.

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