Police: Alabama officer shot; suspects believed dead in fire
AUBURN, Ala. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A fiery end to a massive multi-agency manhunt after an Alabama officer was shot Friday evening.
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Auburn Police said it started around 5:30 p.m. with a reported business robbery in progress in the 400 block of N Dean Road in Auburn, Alabama. The suspect got away, but investigators were able to get a good description of the suspect’s vehicle.
Police said 38-year-old Christopher James Wallace and a woman, whose name has not yet been released, fled the scene driving a silver 2006 Jeep Liberty. Officers were able to get a good description of the vehicle from witnesses and broadcast a BOLO for the suspects over the radio.
The Jeep only made it just a little more than a half mile away when an Auburn Police officer pulled it over in the 1100 block of Opelika Road. Police said the officer, whose name hasn’t been released, was walking towards the vehicle when they were met with gunfire.
The officer was struck several times and was rushed to East Alabama Medical Center. As of early Saturday morning, the officer’s condition was stable.
The suspects drove off from the scene. State and federal officials quickly joined the search for Wallace and the woman in the Jeep with him. They found him a relative’s home located in the 1000 block of Stonegate Drive.
The complex is located across the street near the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine campus. Campus police issued an alert and placed the area on lockdown as law enforcement officials moved into the area.
Police said they ordered the two remaining people inside give themselves up, but didn’t comply. That’s when officers threw tear gas and a distraction device into the residence, police said. Shortly after, police said a fire erupted inside the apartment, starting to engulf the apartment. Both suspects continued to refuse commands to come out, police said.
Police believe the suspects died in the fire. No other injuries were reported.
Multiple agencies spent the night on the scene investigating the incident. Auburn Police said they had help from the Opelika Police Department, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, and the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. Other assisting agencies are the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
The lockdown on the Auburn University campus was lifted about a half hour after it was issued.
FOX 5 News reporting from Atlanta