The family, colleagues and community are all in mourning today after a Huntsville police officer died this morning after being shot Friday night.
The officer, William Eric Freeman, 36, died this morning at 9:38 after receiving a gunshot wound to the head. Freeman was married and a father of five children. He was a three-year veteran of HPD.
The shooting happened after reports of a traffic accident near the intersection of Bailey Cove Road and Weatherly Road in which Freeman and HPD officer Kevin Lambert attempted to arrest Kenneth C. Shipp, Jr., 53, who was sitting on the curb besides the accident scene. Shipp was going to be arrested for DUI, and pulled a handgun and shot Freeman.
Shipp was subdued by Lambert and two citizens who assisted him.
Shipp is charged with capital murder and had been previously arrested for DUI. He is currently being held in the Huntsville Jail and being held without bond.
Earlier this year, Shipp was taken to the hospital after being the victim of a shooting. He was shot in the foot by his son, who was charged with domestic violence. That shooting happened inside an apartment off Grandview Drive near Zierdt road.
Flags are lowered to half-mast at Huntsville Police Headquarters and across Huntsville in Freeman's honor.
Members of the community have fond memories of Officer Freeman, who was from Hazel Green. Theresa Woods worked at the Exxon Station on Governor's Drive, and was appreciative of his interaction with her granddaughter.
"He talked to my granddaughter because she was scared of police officers, and he worked with her to where she wasn't that way. When he'd pull up [at the service station] and she'd see him she'd take off running out the door to meet him," Woods said.
"He just talked so much about people he cared for and how good they were to him, and he was good to everyone. You couldn't ask for a better man," Woods said.
A fund has been set up at Redstone Federal Credit Union as the WAFF 48 Officer William Eric Freeman Fund. People can make donations at all Redstone Federal Credit Unions starting today.
Official media release from the Huntsville Police Department:
Huntsville Police Officer Killed Suspect Charged with Capital Murder Huntsville, Alabama (December 15, 2007) On December 14th at 8:43 p.m. Huntsville Police Officers William Eric Freeman and Kevin Lambert responded to a traffic accident on Bailey Cove Road near the intersection of Weatherly Road.
As the Officers attempted to arrest 53-year-old Kenneth C. Shipp, Jr. for DUI, he drew a handgun and shot Officer Freeman. Officer Lambert subdued Shipp with the assistance of two citizens. Freeman was transported to Huntsville Hospital.
As a result of Officer Freeman's injuries he died this morning at 9:38 a.m. Shipp was booked into the Madison County Metro Jail and will be charged with Capital
Murder. Officer Freeman, age 36, worked with the Huntsville Police Department for nearly 3 years. He is survived by his wife and five children.