Governor Ivey orders flags lowered in honor of fallen Tuscaloosa officer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - In honor of an officer killed in the line of duty, Governor Kay Ivey has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of his interment.

Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette was fatally injured in a shooting while attempting to arrest a wanted felon Monday, September 16. The 20-year-old suspect, Luther B. Watkins was also wounded, fled and was arrested at UAB hospital.

Officer Cousette suffered a wound to the face and later died of his injuries at the hospital.

Watkins was charged with capital murder in connection with Officer Cousette's death at UAB Hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. The charge carries no bond.

Police say Watkins had previously served time in jail on robbery and shooting charges. Officer Cousette was serving a warrant recently issued for Watkins for failure to appear for a court proceeding.

The governor released a statement after his death.

"I am directing flags to be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for Tuscaloosa Police Officer Dornell Cousette, who was killed in the line of duty while serving a warrant last night on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019."

"Let us remember the life and service of Officer Cousette, who was a 13-year veteran of the Tuscaloosa Police Department and a veteran of the United States Army. We offer our heartfelt condolences and prayers to his two daughters, his fiancé, his family and the entire city of Tuscaloosa."

"The flags should be flown at half-staff on the day of his interment until sunset."

"Our membership, except for those at TPD, can't understand and can't feel what the coworkers and family members are feeling right now in the loss of this investigator," said Lt. Donn Shaw at the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

The Fraternal Order of Police will be sending its State Honor Guard to the memorial service and the funeral to represent Alabama's many brothers and sisters in blue.

The date of Officer Cousette's interment has not yet been announced.

Cousette leaves behind two daughters and a fiancee.

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