Three Alabama Policemen Killed

Newsday/AP – 3 Police Officers Shot to Death in Alabama

Three police officers at a house to make an arrest were shot to death Thursday, and the sheriff said a suspect was taken into custody.

Colleagues of the officers found their bodies outside the house where the three had gone to serve “misdemeanor-type warrants,” said Brett Oates, spokesman for Birmingham’s mayor.

Authorities did not release further details, but the small, one-story dwelling, divided into apartments, had a reputation in the low-income neighborhood as a site for drug dealing.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale said Nathaniel Lauell Woods, 27, and four others were in police custody.

Later, Police Chief Annetta Nunn, who had described Woods as a suspect and released his mug shot, told reporters three people were in custody and declined to say if Woods was among them. It was not known if any charges had been filed.

“We just ask the public to pray for the officers, their families and the officers who are still on duty,” Nunn said at a brief news conference.

For a few days after 9/11, we remembered how dangerous police work can be. We usually forget. Even routine misdemeanor arrests can be fatal in that line of work.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.