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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — One Birmingham police officer was killed and another critically wounded in a shooting early Sunday as the officers questioned two people suspected of trying to break into cars in Alabama’s largest city, authorities said.

Two suspects are in custody, one of whom was shot and is receiving medical treatment, according to police.

Police identified the officer who was fatally shot as Sgt. Wytasha Carter, 44, a member of the department since 2011. The names of the wounded officer and the suspects were not immediately released.

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said the officers had approached the two suspects just before 2 a.m. outside a downtown Birmingham nightclub, after a plainclothes officer spotted one of them checking door handles on cars parked outside the venue. Smith said one suspect opened fire after being confronted by the officers.

“This is one of the roughest hours of your career,” Smith said at a news conference, according to local media reports. “There’s not a chief, not an officer that ever wants to have to deal with this. This is a very difficult thing for the family, very difficult for the department.”

Officers were working a special detail in response to a rash of car break-ins in that area. When the undercover officer spotted suspects who appeared to be testing door handles on cars, he called for backup and Carter arrived, officials said.

“The officers approached one suspect and patted him down where they found what they believed to be a weapon,” Smith said. “They asked him about it, he armed himself and fired upon our officers.”

Smith added: “It appears our officers were unable to respond. They were taken completely by surprise. We can’t go into great detail because we are still in the infancy stage of the investigation.”

Carter began his law enforcement career in 2002 as a correctional officer with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and worked for two other police departments before transferring to the Birmingham department. He was promoted to sergeant in February 2018.

News outlets said Carter is the first Birmingham officer killed in the line of duty in more than 14 years.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin called for prayers on Twitter.

“Join me in praying for the family of the Birmingham Police officer killed early this morning, and the officer who is currently in the hospital. They were shot while serving and protecting our city,” he tweeted.

U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town issued a statement calling the shooting “a heartbreaking reminder of the dangers all law enforcement face while we sleep.”

News outlet al.com reported that law enforcement colleagues of the slain officer later Sunday saluted a mortuary transport van as it carried the fallen officer’s body to a local coroner’s office. Several police cruisers provided escort for the transport.

A fellow Birmingham colleague, Officer Jordan Campbell, called Carter a great officer who was devoted both to his work and family.

“Every time I found myself getting into a dangerous situation, I’d look up and he was always there,” Campbell told al.com.

The media outlet said Carter was one of several officers who responded in April 2016 to a home where a roof and chimney had collapsed, trapping two young children in the rubble. He and the other officers were later honored for the rescue, the report said.

PHOTO: AP, Birmingham Police Department

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10 thoughts on “One Police Officer Killed, One Wounded In Birmingham

  1. charles on said:

    P.S KATES 1221 When God was giving out BRAINS YOU THOUGHT he said trains and you BLEW A WHISTLE!!!!!!! NUMBNUTS!!!!!!!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. charles on said:

    Hey Kates your RHETORIC sounds good but you HAVE TO HAVE HAD THE EXPERIENCE it DEVELOPS a very NASTY taste in your ENTIRE BODY which CAN NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!!! CAN”T CRITICIZE IF YOU NEVER BEEN THERE!!!!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ted Gravely on said:

    This man is dead, may he Rest In Peace and prayfully his Family is able to heal and keep going. I mean that, but I mean this as well……Blue racists aren’t heroes. Most lie for each other, plant evidence, and escalate situations that result in people going to jail/prison. They signed up for their jobs to serve and protect, but many see and treat the citizens as enemies. Throw dirt on him and all the others. Did this man ever testify for a suspect? Did he ever testify against his blue racist brothers. Who knows how and why he was killed? They lie so much, I don’t believe anything they say. Rest In Peace, but many won’t lose sleep.

  4. charles on said:

    Tracy there are a FEW good cops out there but for the most part there are so many ROGUE COPS in america it is a SHAME . True he was doing his job but he knew the RISKS were many and true.I still have no PITY once you been VIOLATED by one of these DOGS you never FORGET and it is very hard to SYMPATHIZE. These are my FEELINGS only and they are very hard to CHANGE!!!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

    • Are you saying that good cops deserved to be slaughtered because of the actions of rogue cops? If you believe that, then you must also believe that good, law-abiding citizens deserve to be slaughtered on the streets because of the actions of the lawless. That is the most ignorant, hypocritical thing hear people say. You don’t want to be judged as a whole by what a few do, but you have no sympathy for a police officer who was only doing his job to protect ignorant, brainless non-thinking followers who wouldn’t survive a good week without the protection of law enforcement. You may as well have sewer turds for brains for all the good it does you. Simpleton.

  5. There’s been a lot of hateful comments toward police recently. This man had family and was trying to protect something not his own. If you still have hate toward all officers then you are the evil one. RIP officer Carter.

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