Decatur Police: Shooting Suspect Turns Himself In

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - The search for a Decatur shooting suspect ended Wednesday morning when the man turned himself into police. 36-year old Richard Jake Mitchell is charged with assault after shooting a man in the leg Tuesday afternoon in front of a lawyer's office. It happened across the street from an elementary school, which officers put on lock down.

We now know the shooting was the result of a domestic situation. In fact, investigators say the shooting happened outside an attorney's office. Inside, the victim's wife was filing for a divorce.

"The suspect in this case, Richard Mitchell, turned himself in at the Decatur Police Department. He came to the front desk, gave the officer his name and was taken into custody without incident," according to Lt. John Crouch.

Mitchell's arrest ended a manhunt that began after a shooting near the intersection of 2nd Avenue and Prospect Street. Police say Mitchell was one of several men who accompanied Letesha Thompson to an attorney's office to file for a divorce against this man. He's 40-year-old Cedrick Critterdon. Critterdon got into a fight with one of the men in the lawyer's parking lot when police say Mitchell produced a gun and began shooting.

"We do understand that the victim in this case, the shooting victim, was there to either sign divorce papers or pay for it, the filing of divorce papers, and he and other men who were there got into an argument. The argument turned physical. He then assaulted one of the men, or it became a fight and at that point the suspect produced a handgun and fired several shots," Crouch told WHNT News 19.

Crittendon was hit in the leg. He was treated and released from a local hospital. Mitchell was transferred to the Morgan County Jail Wednesday afternoon where he's being held under a $10,000 cash bond.

We spoke to the attorney late Wednesday afternoon where the shooting occured. Eric Summerford says he's just glad no one was more seriously injured.

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Decatur Police say a man wanted in a shooting Tuesday afternoon has turned himself in.

Richard Jake Mitchell, aka "Lil Bok" turned himself in to the police department around 12 p.m. Wednesday.  He is charged with assault.

The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon outside a business off 2nd Avenue SE.

Richard Jake Mitchell, also known as “Lil Bok” is wanted in the shooting. He is considered armed and dangerous.  If you know where he is, please call (256) 341-4660. Do not approach him. (Photo: Decatur Police Department)
Richard Jake Mitchell, also known as “Lil Bok” is in custody. He is charged with assault (Photo: Decatur Police Department)

Police say it was a domestic argument.

Police say Mitchell was outside a lawyer's office with some other men and a woman.  One of the men went inside with the woman to sign divorce papers and a fight broke out in the parking lot.

Police say Mitchell pulled out his gun and shot in an attempt to stop the fight. He then ran off.

On Tuesday, WHNT News 19 talked with attorney Eric Summerford, who says he heard two shots and a fight outside of his office in the parking lot on Prospect Drive.  He went outside to see what was going on, and saw one man had been shot in the leg and another man who was injured.  That person left the scene with a woman before police could arrive.

The shooting happened about 2:30 p.m. during dismissal time for Banks-Caddell Elementary School, just across the street.

The school was not involved, but students who normally walk home were kept at the school as a precaution afterwards.  As of 4:20 p.m. all students were released, according to Superintendent Ed Nichols, who was at the school.

Elementary School's Response

Since the shooting happened about dismissal time, 2:30, Dr. Nichols said the school acted quickly and pulled children back inside.

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"Immediately we contacted Ms. Davis, the principal, and locked the school down," said Dr. Nichols.  "It was right about dismissal time. We had to pull the children back in and then we did, from the police, what we call a controlled release, walking kids to cars, walking kids to buses."

School resource officers escorted children to parents' vehicles and school buses around 3 p.m.

Students who normally walk home were held at the school until a parent or guardian could pick the child up.

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