SELMA, Ala. (WSFA) - Harrison Smith was shot twice in the leg during his Tuesday morning jog, just as he ran through the railroad crossing on Landline Road in west Selma.
Even veteran law enforcement officials found the crime beyond bizarre, brazen, and a special kind of cruelty.
“By the amount of blood on the scene he was bleeding profusely,” said Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum.
Suspect Chadwick Mitchell faces an attempted murder charge. Mitchell is 28 years old. Harrison Smith is 32, a Selma native who often works overseas.
“At this time, we don’t know the motive,” said Selma Police Sgt. Ray Blanks.
After Smith was shot, a wonderful thing happened, according to investigators. A couple of witnesses saw it all. They stopped and applied a tourniquet to Smith’s leg and rushed him to the hospital. Smith was eventually airlifted to UAB in Birmingham where he’s already had one surgery with another planned soon.
“You know how our community is right now. Not just us but the nation.. the black and white thing and law enforcement and stuff. These were two black gentlemen who stopped and helped the white gentleman so that was encouraging,” said sheriff Granthum.
The witnesses gave authorities a good description of the brown van Mitchell was driving, including the license plate. It turned out that one hour before Mitchell allegedly shot Smith, the suspect reportedly harassed a driver on the same road.
“He began to back up at the high rate of speed, got away from him and called authorities,” said Blanks.
Mitchell is in the Dallas County Jail. Doctors say Harrison Smith will survive. Still unclear is the motive behind the strange encounters near the tracks on Landline Road.
Mitchell is expected to have his first court appearance on the attempted murder on Thursday in Dallas County. Investigators say Mitchell and Smith didn’t know each other and there’s no evidence Mitchell knew the driver he allegedly harassed before the shooting on Landline Road.