Mother of Five Points police shooting victim still seeking answers

Huntsville
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A Huntsville woman is planning to address city council members Thursday regarding her son’s death, which involved Huntsville Police officers. The grieving mother says communication between her and the city of Huntsville has been limited, leaving many of her questions unanswered.

Sixteen.

An autopsy report confirms that’s how many times Huntsville police officers shot Brad Pugh last November.

The report was recently obtained by News 19.

Pugh had been on the roof of Ted’s Barbecue in the Five Points neighborhood for hours, and had just fled into a neighborhood.

Authorities reported Pugh was armed with a pistol and in mental distress.

Two months after the shooting HPD announced an internal review found the shooting was justified. The Madison County D.A.’s office came to the same conclusion.

News 19 Investigative Reporter Dallas Parker met with Pugh’s mother, Adina Peyton, and her attorney shortly after those announcements.

She was upset and concerned that she had not been offered any information about the circumstances surrounding her son’s death.

She and her attorney, Hank Sherrod, have since met with the City of Huntsville.

However one looming question remains.

“How did he end up in a position where he was a threat to them?”

Pugh had just come home from rehab for substance abuse. His mother said it was an ongoing problem.

“I had Brad at 16, and I went through alcoholism and got into recovery. Not until he was 10, and so he struggled with the same issues that I did,” she said.

Peyton said despite his challenges, her son tried to create a source of stability for himself.

“Through that, as a non-high school graduate, he built a plumbing company here in Huntsville that had become quite successful,” she said.

But Peyton said Pugh struggled with his sobriety for years.

“He would find his way and get sober, and then he would have a hard time staying sober,” she said.

Adina said her son also struggled with mental illness.

“He was very, very paranoid that day. Just very, you know like ‘they’re out there, they’re out there.'”

Hours later, she found out her son was on the roof of a nearby restaurant with her gun.

Peyton said police notified her about the ongoing situation at the time, but would not allow her to intervene.

“I’m concerned that the police asked me not to come down there,’ she said. “I’m concerned that as his ex-wife was on her way, and they have a very close relationship, they told her to go back home.”

The police department said negotiators worked with Pugh for hours.

He was asked to come off the roof and put his gun down. But the D.A.’s office said Pugh told police on the scene they would have to kill him.

Pugh eventually came down from the roof of the business, but he still had the gun on him.

The D.A.’s office said police fired non-lethal rounds to try to subdue him.

But HPD said that didn’t work and Pugh ran toward a neighborhood and pulled his gun from his waistband.

The D.A.’s office said he pointed the gun at police, and they once again tried non-lethal force, but shortly after multiple officers shot him.

Police body camera footage of the incident has not been released.

Peyton said her attorney was invited to view the footage, but not the entire video.

The family’s attorney said police should have found another way to resolve the incident.

“Just because it was legally justified, when there’s a gun and somebody gets shot, doesn’t mean that his life couldn’t have been saved,” said Sherrod. “It doesn’t mean that they didn’t make a mistake of judgment or planning, or whatever. That put them in a position where they felt like they had to kill Brad.”

News 19 has submitted a formal request for the body camera footage from the 2020 shooting. The city attorney’s office has acknowledged that request but has yet to release the video.

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