UPDATE: (12:22 p.m. ET) The names of the three police involved in the Sunday night shooting in Auburn have been released.
Officer William Buechner, a 13 year veteran since April 24, 2006, was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Officer Webb Sistrunk, an officer since April 5, 2011 was injured in the line of duty, and is still being treated at the hospital.
Officer Evan Elliott, serving Auburn since July 6, 2018, was injured in the line of duty but has since been treated and released according to Auburn’s Chief of Police.
Governor Kay Ivey issued the following statement regarding the incident in Auburn.
“Just last week, in Alabama and across the country, we honored the sacrifice of the men and women in law enforcement during National Peace Officers Memorial Week. As we began this week, our state was met with the tragic news that shots were fired on three of our police officers, which took the life of Officer William Buechner and wounded two other officers.
“Far too often, we are reminded of the grave sacrifice the men and women in law enforcement make each day and night they go to work. Sadly, this year in our state three men did not have the chance to return home to their families and friends, all because they risked their lives to protect our communities.
“The city of Auburn is somewhere I was able to call home for four important years of my life, and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I know that many others in Alabama and across the country are mourning this loss alongside Officer Buechner’s family and Auburn residents.
“I commend the members of state and local law enforcement who bravely pursued and successfully captured the shooter to ensure the safety of the many students and families in the Auburn area. We offer our support and prayers to the two officers recovering from their injuries and send prayers of comfort to the Buechner family. The ultimate sacrifice of Officer Buechner will never be forgotten.”
The governor has issued a statewide directive to fly flags at half-staff to honor this fallen hero.
UPDATE: (8:19 a.m. ET) Multiple sources are confirming they got the suspect, 29-year-old Grady Wayne Wilkes. Wilkes has been taken in custody near the intersection of Beehive Road and Wire Road. More details to come.
A massive manhunt is underway in East Alabama for a man accused of shooting an Auburn police officer to death late Sunday night.
The search is centered on the Wire Road area for 29-year-old Grady Wayne Wilkes. Wilkes is described as being white, 6-feet-4-inches tall, 215 pounds, with brown hair, hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing shorts.
He is considered armed and dangerous.
Multiple local, state and federal agencies are participating in the search, Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said in a news briefing just after 5 a..m. CDT.
One Auburn officer was killed, one more critically injured and a third officer wounded.
About 10:10 p.m. CDT officers responded to a domestic disturbance call in the Arrowhead Mobile Home community, according to investigators. The officers were met with gunfire, police said.
Additional information will be released later today, Register said. The chief called this his toughest day in law enforcement.
BEAUREGARD, Ala. (WIAT) — A letter from one of the four children who died in the March 3 tornado that struck Lee County has been recovered from the debris.
Mykhayla Waldon, 8, of Beauregard, died in the tornado alongside her 9-year-old cousin Jonathan Marquez Bowen. After her death, her family was desperate to find a letter she’d written to her mother, who kept it with her at all times inside her wallet. The wallet, which had been inside a black purse, was lost during the tornado.
Kerry Pickard with East Alabama Fire recognized a picture of the purse WRBL’s Elizabeth White shared and was able to retrieve it with the help of the Lee County EMA and Sheriff’s Office.
“[Mykhala’s mother] received the letter, and it meant everything to her. Our cousin Shamel drove it to her. It worked out perfectly because Shamel was going to see her mom, who is still in the hospital there too from being injured in the storm. Please thank everyone on your page that shared for us. I know many even prayed that it would be found and given to her. We appreciate this so much. Blessings to you and your family,” Mykhala’s aunt wrote White.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the girl’s family with funeral costs and other needs as they recover from their tragic loss. As of March 15, $9,000 has been raised.