BIBB COUNTY, Ala. – Law enforcement authorities in Alabama said Thursday that one of two sheriff’s deputies shot Wednesday while chasing a suspect has died.
Bibb County District Attorney Michael Jackson confirmed that Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Johnson has died, WBRC-TV reported. He succumbed to his wounds at UAB Hospital at 3:18 p.m. Thursday.
The deadly gunfire occurred about 5 p.m. on Wednesday as the deputies were chasing a stolen vehicle. The suspect was identified as Austin Patrick Hall, WVTM 13 reported.
Following the shooting, the gunman was the subject of a “massive” manhunt after he fled the scene, authorities said Thursday.
Hall, 26, was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service Thursday morning. He is now charged with capital murder and attempted murder, among other crimes, according to Shelby County Jail records.
“It’s been said that a coward dies a thousand deaths, but a hero but one,” Bibb County Sheriff Jody Wade told reporters. “Brad Johnson was a hero.”
Wade said Johnson will continue to save lives through his decision to be an organ donor.
Chris Poole was identified as the other deputy who was wounded during the shooting. He is recovering after being released from the hospital, Fox reported.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement that Johnson will be remembered as a hero.
“Today, all of Alabama grieves the loss of one of our heroes in blue, Bibb County Deputy Brad Johnson,” she said. “At only 32 years-old, he served in law enforcement for several years and was engaged to be married. He will be remembered as a hero.”
“He will not only be called a hero for protecting his community, but also through his organ donations,” she added. “Our entire state is praying for his family, his fiancé and fellow law enforcement officers.”
Johnson was a 7-year veteran of the sheriff’s office. He leaves behind a fiancee and two children, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement.
AG Marshal also noted that Hall has a lengthy criminal history.
“My Office is closely scrutinizing the policies that allowed for a violent offender, like Hall, to walk free,” Marshall said. “The justice system failed these officers and I will do everything in my power to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”