ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – Authorities say a man killed Monday morning by law enforcement officers pointed a gun at officers before they shot and killed him.
Authorities identified the man in a Thursday morning news conference as Thomas Ray Chamblee, 34.
Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims said the incident started with a domestic violence call at a home in Boaz. When they arrived at the home, Chamblee had already left and a woman at the home had to be taken to a hospital for her injuries, Sims said.
Police began searching countywide for Chamblee’s vehicle and found it abandoned near Lazy Creek Circle in Albertville, Sims said. They also received calls from neighbors saying Chamblee was at a home there.
Authorities negotiated with Chamblee to come out, and Sims said he came out holding a handgun. He leveled it at officers and they fired, Sims said.
“Our officers were threatened, and they did what they had to do to protect themselves and to protect the public that night,” Sims said.
Police from Albertville, Boaz, and Douglas were involved along with Marshall County deputies, Sims said. Authorities did not disclose which agency’s officers may have fired shots, citing the State Bureau of Investigation ongoing investigation.
Marshall County District Attorney Everette Johnson said while the final results of the investigation were not yet complete, it appeared officers followed correct procedures in the shooting.
“All their actions certainly appear to be reasonable, necessary and appropriate,” Johnson said.
Sheriff Sims said Chamblee was known to local law enforcement. His criminal record shows arrests for burglary, reckless endangerment, attempt to elude, and in 2014, domestic violence.
Signs of the shooting remain at the camper on Lazy Creek Circle several days later. The owner of the camper told WHNT News 19 he has counted dozens of bullet holes. Many hit his front door, air conditioner, and shattered through his windows. There were several others in the side of his vehicle.
He said he was once related to Chamblee through marriage. He told WHNT News 19 Chamblee held him hostage for two hours before the shooting.
“Well, it was scary. didn’t know if he was going to shoot towards us or what,” said Gary Dabbs, who lives next door to the shooting scene and saw it take place. He said nothing like this has ever happened here.
“They asked him several times, I don’t know how many, probably 30, 40 times or whatever to come out and he finally come out with his hands up and had the gun in his hand and he turned around and closed the camper door and when he turned back around he had the gun pointed towards them and that’s when they shot,” said Dabbs.
The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave. Counseling is being offered to them.
The State Bureau of Investigation is in charge of all the evidence and the investigation now, including body-worn cameras the officers were wearing.