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."