FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Florence Police Officer Brian Berry is home tonight recovering, after an early morning shooting left him with a gunshot wound to the face.
Authorities said the shooting happened around 12:10 a.m. at the intersection of Cox Creek and Cloverdale Road in Florence, when Officer Berry pulled up next to 22-year-old Matthew Paul McCravy. According to police, McCravy was hanging out the window, rapping at Berry with phrases telling him to call for back up. Berry thought McCravy might be intoxicated, and approached the vehicle. That's when, police say, McCravy pulled out a 45-callibur gun and fired at Berry, hitting him in the face.
Berry returned fire as McCravy sped away. He then walked back to his vehicle and administered care to his wounds while calling for an ambulance.
Authorities said officers from all over began responding to the scene. And about 30 minutes later, an off-duty officer, on his way to the scene, passed by Wright Drive where he found a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle involved in the initial shooting. Officers said a short car chase ensued and ended in the parking lot of Chisholm Hills Church of Christ. Officers at the scene said they heard a single gun shot from inside the vehicle before finding the driver dead.
Officers said they did not fire any weapons at the church parking lot scene. McCravy's wounds are believed to be self-inflicted.
Florence Police said Officer Berry is in 'good spirits' and is recovering at home. They said while the bullet entered and exited Officer Berry's head, the bullet only struck his saliva gland.
WHNT News 19's Al Whitaker spoke to someone who knew the suspect, Matthew McCravy. "Just a nice guy," says Eric White. "He would help me out a few times when I needed help, not a violent." The State Bureau of Investigations is assisting Florence Police in this investigation.
WHNT News 19 is working aggressively to gather more information. Stay with us on air, on WHNT.com and on our social media accounts for the latest.