Suspect in shooting of 2 Alabama sheriff’s deputies found hiding in tent -

2022-06-30 17:48:54 By : Ms. Jing Lin

The suspect in the shooting of two Bibb County deputies was taken into custody early Thursday, about a half mile from the shooting took place.

Austin Patrick Hall, a 26-year-old convicted felon, was found hiding in a tent that was behind a mobile home on Bulldog Bend Road.

Northern District of Alabama U.S. Marshal Marty Keely said they received a tip on Hall’s possible whereabouts.

A team of six or seven law enforcement officers from various agencies approached the tent.

As they did, Hall yelled that he wasn’t armed and was taken into custody without incident. The arrest took place at 7:35 a.m.

The tent was less than two miles from the massive command post that had been set up for the search.

Hall, who has been arrested on 46 criminal charges since he was 17, is being taken to the Shelby County Jail.

A Blue Alert issued just before 7:30 p.m. describing Hall as a serious threat to the public was officially canceled at 9:16 a.m. Thursday.

Austin Patrick Hall is wanted in the shooting of two Bibb County sheriff's deputies on June 29, 2022. (ALEA)

The U.S. Marshals Service late Wednesday announced it had designated the search for Hall a “Major Case” and was offering $15,000 for information leading to his capture. Keely said he could not comment on whether that reward played a role in the capture.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said the Bibb County Sheriff’s deputies were chasing a male in a stolen vehicle when the suspect got out and fired shots, striking both deputies.

Both deputies were rushed to UAB Hospital via a massive police escort along Interstate 65, traveling through Hoover and Homewood and Birmingham.

They arrived at UAB shortly before 5:30 p.m.

At least one of the deputies is in critical condition.

Steven Johnson posted on Facebook that his son, Brad Johnson, was one of the two deputies injured.

“My Son was shot through his brain today,” Steven Johnson wrote.

Bibb County deputy Brad Johnson. (contributed)

“He still has a very small brain activity. His heart is still working. They are not giving positive outcome. Right now we are just waiting. I know the God I serve can restore. As long as I have breath.. 100% healing . In the natural he is gone.. so just keep praying.. Let God be God.”

Deputy Chris Poole has been released from the hospital.

Bibb County Deputy Chris Poole (Contributed)

The shootings occurred in the Brierfield area around 4 p.m.

The city of Centreville said on its Facebook page the suspect was still at large and a manhunt is underway.

The city said residents near Brierfield, Golfers Trail, Bibb County Road 10 and Alabama Route 25 should be on alert for the “armed and dangerous suspect” and should lock their doors and stay inside.

Hall’s most recent address is listed in Montevallo.

At a prayer vigil for the deputies Wednesday night at the Bibb County courthouse, Centreville Mayor Mike Oakley said he personally knew the wounded officers.

“It hurts on an emotional and a personal level, not only as a municipal official, but as a friend,” Oakley told WBRC during the vigil.

The mayor also said the Hall was “apparently mentally ill.”

“It just pains me to go: ‘Why couldn’t this dude just reach out to somebody,’” said Oakley.

Hall escaped from a work release center. This photo was released in 2019.

In October 2019, Hall escaped from the Camden Work Release Center.

He had started a nearly 10-year sentence the previous year after being found guilty of second-degree theft of property. It wasn’t immediately clear why he was out of prison, and when he was released.

Hall was on the run for more than a month when he was taken into custody following a police chase that ended in Georgia.

In that case, Oxford police officers tried to stop Hall when they spotted a vehicle that had been reported stolen out Pelham.

Police tried to pull over the vehicle but the driver – Hall – refused to stop and a chase ensued eastbound on Interstate 20.

The pursuit ended when Georgia State Patrol “pitted” the suspect at mile marker 5. Hall’s vehicle overturned but he was not injured.

At the time of his capture, Hall also had outstanding warrants in Chilton County for domestic violence.

While he was being held in the Calhoun County Jail in 2020 after his recapture, court records show, authorities say Hall attack an officer and tried to choke him.

He was charged with second-degree assault.

Hall was indicted in Calhoun County in May on 10 charges of second-degree receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, certain persons prohibited from carrying a firearm, drug possession, resisting arrest, attempting to elude and third-degree burglary.

Those indictments stem from the 2019 incidents in Calhoun County.

His other arrests took place in Chilton, Coosa and Tuscaloosa counties.

Those involved in the manhunt included: Troopers with ALEA’s Highway Patrol Division, Aviation Unit and Special Agents with ALEA’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), the FBI, the ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Alabama attorney general’s office, Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Chilton County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office, Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, Vestavia Hills Police Department, Demopolis Police Department, Thorsby Police Department, Moundville Police Department, Pelham Police Department and officers with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“We are praying hard for the two Bibb County deputy sheriffs shot in the line of duty tonight,’' said Gov. Kay Ivey. “I’m also sending my prayers to the law enforcement currently searching for this violent, at-large criminal. God bless our men and women in blue.”

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