DeKalb, Ala., chase ends in fatal shooting

DeKalb, Ala., chase ends in fatal shooting

June 10th, 2012 by Staff Report in News

A DeKalb County, Ala., man was shot and killed after aiming a firearm at officers during a foot chase Friday, according to authorities.

In a news release, Sheriff Jimmy Harris said a DeKalb deputy and an Alabama Highway Patrol officer tried to stop a four-wheeler on state Highway 117 in the Ider area.

Instead of stopping, the driver, later identified as Monroe Curtis Smith, turned onto a secondary road, then drove off the road onto private property with the officers in pursuit, Harris said in the release.

Smith drove the four-wheeler into an area thick with tornado debris and abandoned it, Harris said. The officers saw Smith pick up a firearm before he jumped from the vehicle and ran. The deputy and the trooper chased after him and found him lying in wait around a curve in the trail, the sheriff said.

As they approached, he stood up and pointed the firearm at them, the release stated.

Smith ignored commands to drop his weapon and kept pointing it at the officers, so they opened fire, the news release stated.

Officers notified emergency personnel and performed CPR until ambulances arrived. Coroner Tom Wilson pronounced Smith dead on the scene at 5:13 p.m., the news release stated.

"These are tragic circumstances for all parties involved," Harris said in the news release. "While I have sympathy for the family in this matter, I also have great concern for the officers and their safety. It's unfortunate. We always hope situations like this can be avoided."

Smith was described as being in his 40s and a resident of the Pea Ridge community.

The release did not say why the officers wanted to pull Smith over. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office could not be reached Saturday for further comment.

An Alabama Highway Patrol dispatcher said the Huntsville office of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation.

The Alabama Highway Patrol and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation did not respond to calls for comment Saturday.