MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It was like a scene out of a movie - a standoff that ended in an awesome display of police firepower outside the studio of WAPX radio on Dexter Avenue, back on October 12, 1974. What many people don't know is a retired Montgomery police officer played a key role in the day's events.
Tuesday, after 37 years, the city honored Manford Furr by adding his name to the city's memorial to those police officers killed in the line of duty.
"And I'm sure today as he looks down on us, he's saying it's about time," said Ed Alford, a retired Deputy Chief with the Department.
For years, Manford Furr's family petitioned the Montgomery Police Department to add his name to its memorial outside police headquarters. Furr was allowed to wear his uniform, even though he was retired, while he worked security at a department store downtown. Two suspects shot and killed him while assisting a victim who had been slashed outside the store.
"When they killed him, they killed a Montgomery police officer," said Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy. "They had no idea he was retired. And he wasn't acting like he was retired. He walked into danger, to quell the violence, to stop the harm."
Those suspects then ran inside the WAPX Radio studios, and held hostages until police moved in, with guns blazing.
"Despite a minor wound to another police officer, no one else was injured that day," Alford said. It was just a miracle. It was a very sad day for the police department, and of course it was a sad day for the city, because it will always be remembered."
And now Furr will be too, his name is now added to those who lost their lives serving others.
"These officers are why we have a free and open society," Chief Murphy said. "And Officer Furr certainly belongs with the rest of the men and women that are on this monument."
Chief Murphy says honoring Furr has been one of his priorities since he took over as chief. He said a number of retired officers have also called for the move. Murphy called it the right thing to do.