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Ala. Deputy's Shooting Was 'Within Policy,' Sheriff Says

December 25, 2011  | 

A Tuscaloosa County (Ala.) Sheriff's deputy struck by a bullet returned fire and killed an armed robbery suspect during a vehicle stop on Friday, the agency announced.

The incident began at 2:44 p.m., when the sheriff's office received a 911 call reporting an armed robbery at Sumners Grocery in Holt. Officers responded to the scene and eventually tracked suspect Barry Mullenix to his home. Mullenix and three other people left the home in a 1995 Toyota sedan, and were pursued by a uniformed deputy driving an unmarked sheriff's pickup truck.

The deputy activated lights and sirens, eventually pulling over Mullenix, who was driving the vehicle. As the deputy exited his truck and headed toward the Toyota, he noticed Mullenix reach for something. The deputy then drew his weapon and yelled at Mullenix to "show me your hands."

Mullenix instead opened fire at the deputy, striking him in the right upper thigh. The deputy, who has not been identified, returned fire, striking Mullenix in the chest. Mullenix dropped to the ground and died.

"After a review of information, witness statements, and deputies at the scene, it is my opinion at this time that this deputy involved shooting was within policy," Sheriff Ted Sexton said in a statement. "This deputy found himself with no other alternative but to respond to the actions of Mullenix with deadly force."

Comments (14)

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14

Karen @ 12/26/2011 9:34 AM

The obvious answer to an obvious problem.

Laura @ 12/26/2011 4:25 PM

Within Policy? Was there ever a question about it not being within policy? We don't return fire to maim or injure a suspect. We shoot to Kill.

RICHARD ISAACS @ 12/26/2011 5:12 PM


Det. Sgt. M.C. Williams @ 12/26/2011 6:35 PM

Laura -- please tell me that you are NOT in law enforcement. We (LEOs NEVER "shoot to kill." We shoot to stop the threat -- center mass and/or head shots -- which while regularly resulting in death, is not the main objective. That said, I concur that this is clearly a good shoot -- and it seems overtly silly to call using deadly force to stop deadly force as being "within policy." Duh!

ShakyJake @ 12/26/2011 8:16 PM

Det. Sgt. Williams: With all do respect Sir, I'm guessing you haven't been in any gun fights? When someone is shooting at you, you damn sure better want to kill them, because they damn sure want to kill you. Classroom talk is great, but when the lead is flying you better have a killers instinct or you may not come home at shifts end. Of course I'm old school and maybe past my time, but fancy courtroom words like "Shoot to stop the treat" is just bs. And no, I would never use more force than necessary, if one bullet will do the job then that's all I'm firing. But I hope my bullet kills, then I know for sure the "threat is stopped".

John @ 12/27/2011 12:14 AM

Eeesh. We dont shoot to kill. We shoot to eliminate the threat.

ROB ROY SELF @ 12/27/2011 12:19 AM

Why would there be any problem with this. Scum bag shoot's Police Officer, Police Officer shoot's Scum bag, Scum bag die's. So why would there be any problem. Unless some idiot liberal wrote the article.

CDrew @ 12/27/2011 8:58 AM

Damn right we shoot to kill. Save all the PC bull, if you can not except the fact that when you pull the trigger, killing is the only option, you are in the wrong line of work. "Deadly" force is just just that, "deadly", and should be your goal when in a deadly force situation. Get your mind right and stop sugar coating the obvious.

m turnbow @ 12/27/2011 12:13 PM

If the account is correct does anyone see a problem?? No doubt good shooting. Shoot to stop vs. shoot to kill... big deal. Approach a vehicle that has 4 suspects in an armed robbery occupying it?!?! WHOA! Why do we get in such a hurry to run up to a vehicle we have been pursuing? Did it early in my career (no more) and still see it today. Everyone gets hyped up on adreneline and tactics go out the window! Make the bad guy(s) come to us. Use cover and wait for help. Bad guy gets out in the open with a gun...take care of business from behind cover!! I do not work in a big city where back up is 1 minute away. My back up may be 20 minutes or more and I have waited that long. I have 2 rifles, shotgun and enough extra ammo to take over a small country. Time is on my side! Good shooting by the Deputy and I wish him a speedy recovery!!!!!!

Tom Ret @ 12/27/2011 4:29 PM

It is my opinion that the deputy's actions were a slam dunk with no other explanation needed.

Federali @ 12/27/2011 5:10 PM

Okay, all you that "shoot-to-kill", when your shot/s stops the POS but he is still breathing, or even misses but causes him to throw down his gun, reach for the stratosphere and yell "I give up!", you need to walk up to him, put your weapon in his face and pull the trigger, otherwise you FAIL! Get real. I've never had to shoot at someone, but if I do I don't really care if they survive or die. I just want them to stop being a threat to me or whoever they are endangering, and no, I'm not some PC rookie. We do shoot to stop, and if the bad guy dies, that's the price he or she pays for being a moron. And quite frankly, the more that do that the better for us and the citizenry in general.

daryl @ 12/27/2011 7:02 PM

as a police Sgt in Baltimore, I see mistakes everyday. Classroom teaches shoot to eliminate the threat. Street tactics and past experience may be at the spur of the moment. At the end of the day means using your head, not over reacting and wait for back up if at all possible. As a highly respected Lt taught me if you come to work and you are not in the mindset that hey I might have to use my handgun today and it may result in someone being injured or possibly killed; than I might as well leave my duty weapon home and seek other employment. Everyone in Law Enforcement should learn from costly errors and improve if at all possible

SP6468 @ 12/29/2011 8:52 AM

M turnbow, you make excellent points. Time and distance are two huge positives for an officer encountering shitbags like this. Nonetheless, great job by the Deputy for getting it done and eliminating this shitbag from earth. Hope the Deputy has a smooth recovery.

RICHARD ISAACS @ 9/11/2012 5:24 PM


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