MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard says no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the officer-involved shooting of Ray King in January 2023.
Ray King was fatally shot on January 5, 2023, in an incident involving Madison County deputies. King was a custodian at New Market Elementary School and his family has long said they believe deputies went to the wrong house that night.
In a news release Thursday afternoon Broussard said the night of the shooting deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office responded to multiple requests near Dixon Road in Hazel Green. Deputies initially received information from a traffic stop where a woman told deputies she was fleeing a domestic abuser with a gun.
That woman provided deputies with an address on Dixon Road but shortly after deputies also responded to a 911 call regarding shots fired in the same area. Once there, neighbors indicated a different address.
Broussard described the resulting situation as complicated and deputies went to the wrong house.
“Faced with conflicting information, deputies responded to 201 Dixon Road. Unbeknownst to them, the address they arrived at was not the address where shots had been fired. Deputies knocked on the front door,” he said. “The homeowner, Ray King, answered the door with a firearm in his hand which he pointed at police. Deputies, facing what they believed to be an armed suspect pointing a weapon at them, shot and killed Mr. King.”
Broussard told News 19 that deputies were doing a “tactical approach” to the home at the time of the incident.
“They call it a tactical approach, meaning there’s a dangerous guy with a gun in here, we’re not going to park out front, we’re not going to announce, we got to try and get the jump on this,” he said.
The DA said King was shot and killed, the investigation was handed over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) for investigation. ALEA turned over the file was given to the district attorney’s office on Oct. 12.
Broussard said ultimately it appears both deputies and King were unaware of who was on either side of the door that night.
“Upon review, it appears that Mr. King did not know that the individuals he was dealing with were Sheriff’s Deputies and he armed himself before opening the door,” Broussard said. “Likewise, deputies were conducting a lawful investigation into a reportedly violent active shooter. When the door was opened by an armed individual who pointed a gun at them, they reasonably feared for their lives at the moment they fired.
“While this situation is tragic, it does not violate a criminal statute under Alabama law. Our office is bound by the principles of law set forth by the Alabama Legislature and the United States Constitution.”
Broussard said ultimately his office is focused on determining when a criminal law has been violated, but he said his review does not cover civil liability.
“While all agree this was a tragic episode, criminal statutes are designed to encompass bad actors and not tragic mistakes,” he said.
Broussard said ultimately the question comes down to procedure not law.
“Like I say, that’s more of a police procedure, question, when you look at all the facts, you know it appears pretty clear to me that Mr. King did not know those were deputies,” The DA said. “They were shining flashlights kind of at the house, in the window, one of them said he shined a flashlight on his uniform that clearly states deputy… but you know for legal analysis purposes it’s of little relevance.”
The district attorney said no further action would be taken by his office in connection with the King case.
News 19 has asked the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for the release of the deputies’ body cam video. A sheriff’s office spokesperson said the request had been forwarded to Madison County Attorney Jeff Rich.