AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - The Auburn Police Division officer who was shot multiple times while conducting a traffic stop Friday night has been identified.
According to the APD, the officer is identified as five-year law enforcement veteran Patrol Officer Justin Sanders, 30.
Auburn police confirmed Sanders was initially taken to EAMC before being moved to UAB Medical Center late Friday night. He is in stable condition and is recovering from his injuries.
“We are thankful this morning that Officer Sanders is recovering from his injuries received in the line of duty last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he recovers. As a community, I know you join me in thanking him in the bravery that he and those that came to his aid displayed in protecting and serving all of us. I know his family is hurting that this happened. So are we all. We will continue to pray that his recovery is as swift as possible,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders.
Auburn police say the suspect who shot Sanders, Christopher James Wallace, died along with a woman Friday night in an apartment fire during a standoff with law enforcement.
Wallace was pulled over on Opelika Road near Dollar General around 6 p.m. His vehicle matched the vehicle description of the suspect of a pharmacy robbery that happened on Dean Road just moments earlier. The officer approached Wallace’s vehicle when he was shot multiple times.
The store manager of the Dollar General where the shooting first happened said a bullet shattered part of the glass entry door.
Wallace fled the scene and was later tracked to a relative’s apartment in the 1000 block of Stonegate Drive. There, Wallace and police reportedly entered a standoff where Wallace reportedly fired at officers who then returned fire.
At some point during the standoff, a fire started after police used tear gas and a distraction device. The apartment then became engulfed in flames with Wallace and the woman still inside.
Residents were evacuated during the incident but as of Saturday, police said residents would be escorted into their apartments to take a look at their belongings.
The investigation is ongoing.