A 39-year-old man was shot and killed Friday evening in Ohatchee after he swerved his vehicle at a Calhoun County sheriff’s deputy and also pointed a pistol at him, officials said.
A Calhoun County deputy was eastbound on Boiling Springs Road when he came upon a car with a switched tag shortly before 8 p.m., Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade said at the scene Friday night.
“He ran the plate and it came back switched so he attempted a traffic stop,” Wade said.
Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown identified the driver of that vehicle as Christopher Edward Loftis, 39. It wasn’t clear, Brown said, whether the man was from Ohatchee or Lincoln. The deputy, whom Wade declined to name, was uninjured in the incident.
Wade said Loftis did not slow down when the deputy turned his lights and sirens on and a short chase ensued.
“The deputy was able to get in front of the suspect and slow down,” Wade said, explaining that Loftis was already driving at a slow speed. “My deputy put his car in reverse and while he was trying to stop the suspect he hit another car in the westbound lane.”
Wade said the deputy stopped his patrol vehicle and got out. Loftis then drove toward the deputy, swerving and pointing a pistol at him, the sheriff said.
“The deputy fired at that point,” Wade said,
Loftis’ two-door vehicle continued to roll for about another 100 yards before wrecking on the side of Boiling Springs Road about a mile and a half from Alabama 144, Wade said.
An ambulance that happened to be nearby responded to the scene in about three minutes and took Loftis to Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center, the sheriff said. Loftis later died there, Wade said.
Wade said investigators from the Oxford Police Department and Jacksonville State University’s Center for Applied Forensics were working the case.
“They recovered the gun he pointed at the deputy and also found numerous illegal narcotics,” Wade said.
Investigators, enveloped in thick fog, searched the ground with flashlights for evidence late Friday. A haze of blue lights illuminated the air around the police officers as they tromped through the woods around the wrecked vehicle.
The Friday night shooting is the third in three days in which officers have fired upon suspects in Calhoun and Cleburne counties.