Jackson County (Ala.) Sheriff Chuck Phillips confirmed this afternoon that one of his deputies had shot and killed Alex Christopher Davis, 18, of Pisgah, Ala., on Tuesday.
Phillips is not releasing the name of the deputy but said the man was on administrative leave pending counseling and an investigation of the incident. But the sheriff described the shooting as a matter of tragic necessity for an embattled lawman who had tried everything else to subdue a rampaging teenager.
He said the deputy was dispatched to the scene, a trailer on County Road 60 in Pisgah, after a call came in around 6 p.m. reporting that Davis had attacked the homeowner. When the deputy arrived, said Phillips, Davis was breaking out the windows of the trailer with a board. He did not surrender to the deputy or lay down the board--even after the officer had shot him twice with his Taser.
A Taser works by launching electrodes attached to long conductive wires. Barbs on the electrodes attach themselves to a person's skin or clothing and the current travels down into the person's body, delivering a stun charge.
Sheriff Phillips said Davis was able to pull the wires out both times he was "Tased." At that point, with both his Taser cartridges spent, the deputy pulled out his gun. When he did so, the young man charged him with the board.
"The officer had to shoot him then," said the sheriff. Davis died at the scene.
Sheriff Phillips said the teenager had not been unknown to law enforcement before the Tuesday incident. "He's got some issues," said Phillips.
He said that previously the youth's scrapes with the law had been minor.
Jackson Chief Deputy Rocky Harnan told The Planet it was not known whether Davis, who he understood to be a high school senior, was under the influence of any drugs Tuesday evening. An autopsy was done today, he believed, but the results--including a toxicology report--will go first to ALEA, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. ALEA, analogous to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or GBI on the other side of the state line, is conducting the investigation into the Feb. 7 incident.
Harnan said the deputy who did the shooting was no rookie but had been with the sheriff's department for several years and had earlier worked at the county jail.