Two Months Later: FDLE Investigation Into Atmore Police Shooting Continues

July 24, 2009

 shootpre10.jpg

The investigation is continuing into the death of an Atmore man shot by Atmore Police near Walnut Hill two months ago.

Danny Ray Williams, 33, died May 25 from wounds he received when he was shot by Atmore Police early Sunday morning, May 24 in Walnut Hill. Atmore Police said Williams was seen leaving the scene of a shots fired call in Atmore when they gave chase. That chase came to an end on Highway 97 just south of Kansas Road when officers fired on Williams’ car after they say he attempted to run over them.

atmore-officer-shooting21.jpg“It is still an ongoing investigation,” Mike Morrison, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, told NorthEscambia.com Thursday afternoon.

Morrison said he expects the investigation to take a few more weeks, with the final FDLE report set to be turned over to the State Attorney’s Office for review.

Williams was shot by Atmore police officers following a high speed chase that started in Atmore and ended in Walnut Hill just south of Kansas Road about 1:45 a.m. on May 24.

Atmore Public Safety Directory Glen Carlee said the chase began after a reported shots fired incident near Ashley Street and Jones Street, a location about three miles driving distance from the Florida line. Officers say they spotted the Nissan Altima driven by Williams leaving the area of the shots fired call. That’s when the chase began that eventually crossed the state line into Florida. Carlee said Williams apparently tried to hit an Atmore Police Department cruiser head-on.

Once he stopped and officers approached the car with weapons drawn, Carlee says Williams accelerated toward an officer in an attempt to hit him. That prompted at least two officers to fire at Williams. Florida authorities told NorthEscambia.com  at the scene that Williams had been shot at least once in the head.

shootphootos.jpgFor a complete gallery of exclusive photos from the scene that you will see only on NorthEscambia.com, click here.

For a statement on the shooting released May 25 by the Atmore Police Department, click here.

For NorthEscambia.com’s original story on the shooting, click here.

Pictured above and below: The scene of a shooting involving an Atmore Police Department officer early May 24 in Walnut Hill. Pictured middle: Crime scene investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement work to recover evidence inside the car. NorthEscambia.com exclusive photos, click to enlarge. 

Comments

12 Responses to “Two Months Later: FDLE Investigation Into Atmore Police Shooting Continues”

  1. Girly Girl on July 28th, 2009 12:05 pm

    I dont think the Officers should have gone any further than Atmore to chase this guy. They should have called in Esc County Fl deputies to assist with this case… They were WRONG !! Went way out of their way……

  2. JJ on July 27th, 2009 8:42 pm

    Was this an issure to where black cops shot a white man without full evidence as to why the police were even called to a shots fired disturbance? There was a passenger in the car, why wasn’t he shot at, even if he did have his hands up. Where was sheriff Morgan on this case? Something’s still not quite right. If it had been white cops on black men it would be in all NAACP coverage, whites don’t have a WAACP, that wold be racist

  3. Observer of Thingies on July 27th, 2009 2:03 pm

    I think the fact that it has take so long means that there is a lot too this. If it were simple and clean cut, they would have finished and released their reports by now.

  4. Escambia County Citizen on July 27th, 2009 12:21 pm

    In current society, many people put our police officers under severe scrutiny. Everything is so focused on the rights of the people breaking the law that one forgets that the police officers have rights as well. Since we live in a country that is considered a civilized society, we have to trust the judgements of our law enforcement. However, if you do not have faith or trust in our law enforement, as it would happen, you live in a free society and you can become whatever you wish ,so please do all of us a favor and become a police officer and make it better. That is if you feel you could use better judgement in an extreme life or death circumstance, or that you could put your life on the line on a daily basis. Go for it.

    I’m sure the officers involved never want to open fire on any person unless the circumstances were dier. I believe in our law in enforcement. I believe that the officers involved used their best judgement in their situation. It is very tragic that a man was killed. I do send my condolences to the family for their loss. It is unfortunate, but I have to stand firmly behind our police officers and give them my upmost support,

    Thank you for keeping me and my family safe. Continue to do your job, and please know that the majority people in the area support all of you.

  5. Look at More of the Facts on July 25th, 2009 1:06 pm

    Atmore,
    Williams car was not mired down in the mud when he tried to run over the officer. It was in fact not where you see it in the above photo. It was across the road, on the shoulder, not the field. When the passenger exited from the vehicle, that is when he took off again only this time trying to run over the officer. The police car that you see in the photo was one he had already run off the road prior to the shooting.

    I too am waiting to see all of the facts. We just have to be patient and let the law enforcement do their job!

  6. molino jim on July 25th, 2009 12:16 pm

    I hope all of the “experts” on what the law enforcement officers should have done will leave the safety of their homes and ask to ride with an officers on a night shift. I have been in a position where I could have been killed while I was in law enforcement. Try walking up to a car with dark tend windows at night or enter a dark building that has been broken into. Once you have been in the officers position and was there with him at the time then say he made a mistake.

  7. Law and Order on July 25th, 2009 12:03 pm

    FDLE needs to complete the investigation and make the results public soonest. What could there possibly be that would hold this up for so long, toxicology results from an autopsy? Something is not being told because this tragic incident doesn’t make since and hopefully FDLE’s report will have the answers one way or the other.

    In brief: the published statements tell us that the officer’s guns were drawn as they approached Williams from the front of his car. Williams then allegedly drives towards the officers placing them in fear which caused the officers to jump out of the way. The officers then opened fire at the rear of the vehicle after it drove away, where Williams is shot in the head through the back window.

    This chase and homocide is a potential huge liability problem for Atmore PD and the town’s citizens, who’ll probably end up paying an enormous amount of money to Williams’s family in a wrongful death and/or civil rights excessive use of force federal lawsuit.

    First off, Atmore PD chases a vehicle in and around Atmore for what amounts to nothing more than traffic violations with no other indicators of a shot even being fired in the first place. There’s no statement that officers even a contacted a caller in the phantom shot’s fired call. Also there is no secondary indication of gun shots like other 911 calls, no call for an ambulance, or a report from the hospital that someone’s been shot during the 20 or so minutes this chase goes on.

    Secondly, no supervisor or other senior officer present in the absence of a supervisor stepped up to call this off even when the chase goes out of their jurisdiction and into another state. No forcible felony (armed robbery, murder, rape, home invasion, etc…) has been committed to justify this chase into Florida.

    Lastly, the officers knowingly put themselves in harms way in front of Williams’s car where they were allegedly almost run over by him and are now using this act as justification for shooting Williams in the back of the head after the officers were obviously no longer in danger.

    I know this is not a popular post with all the shoot’em up good ol’ boys, but these are the hard factors that have to be pointed out and questioned. If there is justification for killing Williams with the facts gathered by FDLE, Atmore PD and the officers involved will be vindicated.

  8. concerned citizen on July 25th, 2009 10:10 am

    I agree with Atmore. Just because a person is a police officer does not mean he or she is excused for shooting someone in the back of the head. this should be thoroughly investigated and the police officer should be treated like any other citizen, innocent until proven guilty. No one should be exonerated without a thorough investigation.

    Atmore police department itself should be looking into the behavior of their officers. Are they too immature to carry guns? are they too hot headed to carry guns? are they too afraid to be police officers?

    Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Department is hopefully asking why this happened in our area, why these officers were in hot pursuit in and around our homes and families for a traffic stop in another state. Not stopping because a police officer is pursuing you is not grounds for death in this country nor has it ever been.

    After this investigation, I hope that the truth prevails and there is a plan in effect for Atmore police on how to properly handle situations so that this will never happen again. Hopefully they will be brave enough to try to set an example of how things should be properly handled for the rest of the police departments in our area.

  9. Being there on July 24th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Police Officers put there lives on the line every day and normally they aren’t very well liked people and every wants to examine there lives every day but then when you need one they are wonderful people. well they are always that way and if you wasn’t there all you can do is wonder but they officers that put there lives on the line so this person didn’t hurt anyone else. Or anything worse they did what they had to and it is terrible but they have famillies to go home to also and they are there to protect each other also!!!!!

  10. NDavis on July 24th, 2009 4:51 pm

    I thank God for all the police officer;s in Atmore. I hate that the man died but he shouldn’t have ran from the cops by speeding going down the road at high speed
    and trying to run over a cop. Sometime when you roll the dice you pay the price for your actions. The officers did there job!!!!

  11. Judy on July 24th, 2009 4:39 pm

    I pray all goes well with these Policemen, who put their lives in danger everyday. Mr. Williams should have stopped when they asked him to. I say THANK-YOU to all the Policemen who keep us safe.

  12. ATMORE on July 24th, 2009 4:32 pm

    I am puzzled on this one.This is sad.How can an unarmed man in a vehicle in a muddy area be shot in the head by an officer?Something isnt right.I looked at the pictures and i cannot understand how was he trying to run over an officer when he barked down in mud.That car couldnt do anyting in my eyes but spin mud on everyone.This is my assumption.He mite was trying to get away and being in the mud the car could have swirved in the direction of the office which the other officers may have assumed he was tring to run over the ones in front of the car.But to actually say that he was trying to run over an officer that officer or officers would have had to be directly in front of that vehicle.I may be wrong but i have been barked down in mud before and when i stomped the gas to attempt to get out my car turned in a different direction.Im not stating this has happen to everyone and im not stating this was the case, but i still can understand why he was shot in the head,back,arm,YES, but not in the head.Maybe the officers went with their first instinct,which all humans do when harm is in the way.I just hate this had to happen.Yes, the guy was wrong but he didnt deserve a bullet to the head.My prayers is with the family of this guy,an the officer.





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