Arab resident recalls moments after officer-involved shooting

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ARAB, Ala. - Two Arab police officers are on administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting early Monday night on Country Club Circle.

Paul Williams has lived in the neighborhood since 1993. "We never have any problems. The neighbors all know each other," he said.

"I heard three very quick fired shots and that’s when I turned to look outside when I saw police cars coming down the street," said Williams.

Williams showed WHNT News 19 where the focal point of the scene which was right on the edge of his property line.

"The man was laying on the ground at that point," Williams said he could see John Bardin, 39, or Arab lying near a chain-link fence.

Bardin had been shot at least twice by a veteran Arab police officer. One bullet hit Bardin in the chest, while another hit him in the arm.

"Another officer pursued him and tackled him," Arab Police Chief Ed Ralston. "The suspect was able to get on top of the officer and was going for his gun, trying to remove his firearm from the holster. The second officer came over and was able to fire three shots and ended that confrontation."

Chief Ralston said Bardin had been knocking on several doors in the area and persistently saying he wanted to come inside and "preach the gospel."

Bardin was wearing a t-shirt and shorts despite the rainy weather.

"With it raining like it was and this individual having no raincoat, the way he was dressed, made them uncomfortable. They weren’t sure what his motives or intentions were, so they didn’t let him in," said Chief Ralston.

Chief Ralston told WHNT News 19 that while his department has never interacted with Bardin before, he has a past in Florida. "From theft to illegal possession of different substances, drugs, bad checks."

Bardin could face several charges including assault on a peace officer and burglary. He is in the hospital in stable condition.

The State Bureau of Investigation completed its investigation at the scene Monday night.

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