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Man critical after Christmas Eve Elmore County shooting; stepfather arrested

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 11:38 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2021 at 4:45 PM CST
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ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A man has been arrested and charged with assault after allegedly shooting his stepson in the upper stomach at point-blank range, according to Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin.

The sheriff said deputies responded to a call of a family fight with gunshots fired around 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve on Jeanine Court, located near Rifle Range Road in the Redland Community.

By the time officers arrived, the victim’s brother had already rushed him to an area community hospital, which quickly realized the severity of the wound and transferred him via medical helicopter to a Montgomery hospital for advanced treatment.

“He remains on a ventilator at this time,” the sheriff said of the 24-year-old victim, noting he is in critical condition.

Deputies quickly arrested the stepfather, 36-year-old Robert Dale, whom they found walking along Redland Road.

The sheriff said the situation escalated when Dale returned to his mobile home that evening and “started smashing some Christmas presents, an Xbox machine and a TV in a living room area where his stepson and the stepson’s brother were located.”

The sheriff said “when the stepson tried to confront the inebriated, very inebriated” Dale, the suspect “immediately drew out a .45 caliber handgun, fired one round into the upper stomach area of the stepson.”

Franklin said the victim was “very fortunate” that his brother was there when the shooting happened, noting he “pretty much scooped him up, put him in a vehicle and carted him off to Elmore County Hospital... that’s probably a pretty good reason that that young man’s alive right now.”

“The gun is a Taurus,” the sheriff explained. “They call it “The Judge.” It’s a handgun, holds a .45 caliber round. Odd thing about the gun, you can interchange a 410 shotgun shell, in this particular handgun. And, in this particular case, there was a 410 shotgun shell that was in the cylinder. It was actually lodged with a slug. So it wasn’t bird shot that struck the man in the stomach, It’s gonna be a slug. It did not go through and through, and it was all most at point-blank range. So, I think most people that know anything about handguns and the velocity of handguns, they’ll tell you that the 24-year-old, it’s a miracle that he’s alive.”

Dale was transported to the Elmore County Jail where bond was set at $50,000.

“And because he already has a pending court case on obstructing governmental operations case this coming up in February, the judge has revoked his bond for this new additional charge and he will remain here until he at least goes to his first court here,” the sheriff confirmed.

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