Auburn officer’s death prompts Alabama’s first ‘BLUE Alert’

Grady Wayne Wilkes
Grady Wayne Wilkes((Source: Auburn Police Department))
Updated: May. 20, 2019 at 4:53 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - The shooting of three east Alabama police officers, including one fatally, late Sunday night prompted the first ever issuance of a ‘BLUE Alert’ in Alabama history.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Alabama Fusion Center issued the alert at the request of the Auburn Police Department after a domestic violence call to police erupted in gunfire at an area mobile home park.

Killed in the line of duty was veteran Officer William Buechner (pronounced Beek-ner) and injuries to Officer Webb Sistrunk and Office Evan Elliott.

The alert was sent out in the early Monday morning hours as a manhunt sought the suspect who fled the scene. That suspect, later identified as 29-year-old local resident Grady Wayne Wilkes, was captured around 7 a.m. Monday about a mile from the scene of the shooting.

A screenshot of the since-cancelled ALEA BLUE Alert, issued May 20 for Grady Wayne Wilkes. The...
A screenshot of the since-cancelled ALEA BLUE Alert, issued May 20 for Grady Wayne Wilkes. The case was the first time in Alabama history that a BLUE Alert was activated.(Alabama Law Enforcement Agency)

"Our hearts are heavy at ALEA, said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor, “and our prayers are with Auburn Police Department family...”

BLUE Alerts are possible when a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer in Alabama has been killed or seriously injured and the perpetrator is at large.

The state enacted legislation making a BLUE Alert possible in 2012, but it had never been used until now.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.