Man charged with killing Alabama officer during interstate pursuit

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WARRIOR, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama police officer was fatally wounded in a shooting during a chase, a mayor said, and a suspect was charged with capital murder Wednesday.

Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock told a city police officer, whose name was not immediately released, was killed in a confrontation that began on Interstate 65 around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Police tried to stop a vehicle on the highway and the driver wouldn’t pull over, news outlets reported. A patrol car from the town of Kimberly joined in and the officer was shot.

The officer was taken to a hospital for treatment but later died.

Jefferson County jail records showed that a man publicly identified as a suspect in the shooting, Preston Chyenne Johnson, 37, was charged with capital murder in the shooting death of a police officer a few hours later.

Three other people also were arrested, according to police in Warrior, but it wasn’t clear whether additional charges were filed. Officials planned an afternoon news conference to discuss the shooting.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said she had called and spoken with the parents of the slain officer.

“The safety of our citizens and the rule of law is forefront on the minds of our officers who willingly risk their lives on behalf of ours. His sacrifice will never be forgotten,” she said in a statement.

Seven officers were killed in the line of duty in Alabama last year. The chief federal prosecutor for north Alabama, U.S. Attorney Jay Town, sent a tweet expressing sorrow over the Kimberly officer’s death.

“The violence against law enforcement is maddening,” Town said.

Johnson has been arrested multiple times on drug possession and other charges over the last decade, court records show. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Johnson had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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