A Montgomery, AL Officer is in Police custody after being charged with murder in the shooting death of Gregory Gunn.
According to WSFA, Officer Aaron “A.C.” Smith has been taken into custody after “probable cause” was found in a State Bureau of Investigation concerning the shooting of Gunn.
The investigation was opened after Gunn, a black man, was shot by Smith, a white officer, in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Shortly after the shooting, Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley said that “at this point in time what we have is we had a suspicious person, and the officer engaged that individual. There was a slight struggle that continued for about a block or so at which time the officer fired and shot and killed the suspect.”
However, following the investigation by state authorities, Smith was placed under arrest and the process had begun for the termination of his employment, both related to the murder charge.
Mayor Todd Strange declined to answer repeated questions concerning the case, though he emphasized that “we are people of laws that apply to all of us”.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Gunn was leaving a neighborhood card game a block away from his house when an altercation between cop and Gunn ensued.
What started the altercation isn’t clear, but it is being reported that there were a series of break-ins in the area.
According to Chief Ernest Finley, a “slight struggle” took place, followed by a chase that ended up in the front yard of Colvin Hinson, Gunn’s next-door neighbor.
Hinson heard Gunn pounding on his front door, screaming for help and calling out for his mother.
Across the street, Scott Muhammad also heard the shouts, looked out and saw a struggle taking place in Hinson’s front yard. He told his wife to call the police and headed out to break it up.
Before anyone could intervene, Gunn was shot several times by Smith.
Finley said the officer saw a weapon on Gunn, which turned out to be a painter’s stick.
Locals are infuriated by the event, with some calling for drastic measures in the historical city known for being a hotbed in the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s.
“I want to see all white officers out of the black community,” Chris Miles, a close friend of the Gunn family, told the Advertiser. “I don’t want them patrolling here anymore, because we’re either ‘suspicious,’ or if something happens, they say they were in fear of their life. Those ‘talking points’ get them not indicted. We can’t live under those conditions anymore.”
Smith has been on the Montgomery Police Department for less than four years. His bond is set at $150,000.