Months pass but MPD officer shooting suspect remains in Louisian - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Months pass but MPD officer shooting suspect remains in Louisiana

The suspect, Matthew Wright, being discharged from a La. hospital. (Source: La. State Patrol) The suspect, Matthew Wright, being discharged from a La. hospital. (Source: La. State Patrol)
Officer Robert Hubbard (Source: Montgomery Police Department) Officer Robert Hubbard (Source: Montgomery Police Department)
Matthew Wright being taken into custody. (Source: LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin) Matthew Wright being taken into custody. (Source: LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin)
(Source: LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin- Judy K9 officer used to capture Wright) (Source: LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin- Judy K9 officer used to capture Wright)
The Walmart on the Eastern Blvd. where Officer Hubbard was shot. (Source: WSFA 12 News) The Walmart on the Eastern Blvd. where Officer Hubbard was shot. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Stolen wheels helped the alleged shooter of a Montgomery police officer flee the state at high speed, but the wheels of justice turn at a decidedly slower pace in returning him to Alabama's capital city to face charges.

Matthew Lawrencereno Wright is accused of shooting Montgomery Police Officer Robert F. Hubbard three times as he responded to an apparent shoplifting incident at the Walmart on the Eastern Boulevard. That was back on October 5, 2014.

More than five months have passed since the shooting, armed carjacking, subsequent chase and ultimate arrest of the suspect. Wright remains in custody in Louisiana, but he's still out of the reach of the hands of Montgomery prosecutors. 

Officer Hubbard survived the shooting that saw him struck with bullets in the arm and neck. He was later released from the hospital to recover at home. It's unclear if or when Officer Hubbard returned to the force. 

An extradition process to bring Wright back to Alabama is still in the works. The delay in returning Wright to Alabama could continue for the foreseeable future. That's because Wright faces charges in Louisiana in connection to the chase.

When the suspect does return to Alabama, he'll face multiple felony charges.

THE SHOOTING AND RECOVERY

Officer Hubbard was responding to a shoplifting complaint at the store around 8:30 a.m. when Wright allegedly pulled a gun and shot the officer multiple times as he was attempting to arrest the man.

Hubbard was rushed to an area hospital in serious condition and underwent surgery for injuries to his neck and an arm. The recovery prognosis for the officer, a five-year veteran of the Montgomery police force, is said to be "good."

Mayor Todd Strange posted on Facebook the day after the shooting that Hubbard had been taken out of the intensive care unit and was moved to a private room. Strange added that Hubbard was "recovering nicely."

"The only issues he has had are that his doctors have said he has too many people coming to see him and he need rest. This is another testament that the people of Montgomery realize the sacrifice made every single day and stand behind those that put themselves in harms way to protect us and this great city," Strange posted.

Interim Montgomery Police Chief John Brown called him an outstanding officer whose concern for the community is paramount. The interim chief said Hubbard's first concern after surgery was making sure the family that was standing behind him when he was shot made it to safety.

THE CHASE

While medical crews worked to save Hubbard's life, authorities from local, state, and federal agencies flooded Montgomery and surrounding areas looking for the suspect, whom MPD quickly identified as Wright. The suspect is known to authorities and is said to have an extensive criminal history.

Investigators say after the shooting, Wright rushed out of the Walmart, stole a vehicle from its owner at gunpoint and fled the area. A mug shot and surveillance video of Wright, as well as a description of the stolen 2008 Chrysler 300 sedan he was reportedly driving, were sent to the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC, and surrounding states were alerted to be on the lookout.

Just under nine hours after the shooting, at 5:22 p.m., the hunt for the wanted fugitive ended hundreds of miles away in a wooded area of LaSalle Parish, LA. The arrest did not come without incident, however.

More than 90 minutes earlier, LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin said authorities were tipped off to his location after Wright attempted to use his gas card in Vidalia, La. The card's use alerted MPD officials who then contacted Louisiana officials, and an unmarked patrol officer spotted the stolen vehicle in Ferriday, La.

Louisiana State Patrol officers joined the Ferriday police officer's chase after he spotted the suspected vehicle with its custom Alabama license plate - THEQNB - (The Queen Bee). A high speed chase across multiple municipalities hit speeds of more than 120 mph, authorities reported, and the increased speeds only invited the addition of more law enforcement.

At one point during the pursuit, Wright drove through a road block in Catahoula Parish where he is said to have attempted to run over an officer. Officers then fired shots into the vehicle, and after a four mile pursuit, Wright crashed the Chrysler into a tree.

He quickly stole another vehicle at gunpoint, however, and continued to flee authorities. The chase lasted only another mile before Wright abandoned the second vehicle and fled on foot into nearby woods. It didn't take long before a search dog found him. He was just 50 yards into the woods.

During the chase, Louisiana authorities say Wright brandished his weapon at them multiple times. Officers fired their service weapons at him on three occasions, hitting him at least once in the abdomen. Following his arrest, authorities transported Wright to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. After being discharged, Wright was taken to the LaSalle Parish Detention Center.

THE REACTION

"A police officer everyday puts that uniform on and goes to work not knowing if this is going to be the day he has a deadly confrontation with someone," Montgomery Public Safety Director Chris Murphy said. "This is what every family dreads when their loved one is a police officer."

"Our thoughts are with the officer and his family at this time," said Walmart in a statement released to the media. "The safety of customers and associates is always our top priority. We are working actively with law enforcement in this situation." Walmart also said the incident has spurred them to implement procedures for associates involved in the shooting, though they did not provide specific details. 

Copyright 2015 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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