Teen arrested at hospital following Pike Road robbery, shootout
PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham held a news conference Wednesday morning to “ease the community’s minds” and to express his anger now that an arrest has been made in a Pike Road robbery and shootout.
“The message is, is that we’re not going to tolerate it. Enough’s enough, and if you’ve seen that, and if you’re not upset like I am, you need to start having conversations with your kids,” the sheriff stated following the arrest of a 16-year-old. “You need to have conversations with your grown kids, because we’re not going to tolerate that in Montgomery County.”
Cunningham said law enforcement responded to the Dollar General at 9711 Vaughn Road around 4 p.m. Tuesday on reports of a robbery-in-progress. The suspect fled from the store on foot but was confronted by a witness in a pickup truck who followed the teen. The suspect fired a gun at the witness, striking the person’s vehicle.
“When that call first came out, I was sitting here in my office...” Cunningham explained. “And next thing you know, we heard “shots fired,” because a witness was following the guy, and he turned and opened fire on the witness, at which time the witness returned fire...my heart was just beating fast, because I had a motorcycle officer right up the street that responded to the scene. I mean, we got there pretty fast.”
The witness fired back at the suspect, according to the sheriff. Cunningham shared an eyewitness video of the shootout that was recorded from a nearby home.
“We’re not in a war zone,” the sheriff explained of the video. “That’s in a neighborhood, and people ask me why am I so upset? Because it’s happening right here. And that’s the reason why this young man that committed this, I’m going to be standing here, and all of us [law enforcement] standing around here, will be there to make sure that he’s prosecuted by the full extent of the law. We’re not going to tolerate this, not in our community, not in Montgomery as a whole.”
The suspect fled to a nearby residential area where he jumped a privacy fence and burglarized a home in the Lochshire subdivision. That homeowner confronted the suspect, who then fled, the sheriff noted.
Investigators from multiple agencies, including the Montgomery Police Department, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and U.S. Marshals joined deputies as they flooded into Lochshire in search of the suspect. A state law enforcement helicopter circled overhead.
“I wanted the public to know that people were hiding their houses, people were were scared to go home,” the sheriff stated. “We had to go search people’s houses so they can go home. That’s not the way we live. That’s not the way that our community is.”
Cunningham said later-recovered security video footage showed the suspect getting into his vehicle at 4:16 p.m., which was parked at the Z-Tech gas station at 9611 Vaughn Road. Once in the vehicle, the suspect fled the area.
Law enforcement worked off the belief that the suspect had been injured in some way and alerted surrounding counties that he could possibly show up seeking treatment.
That hunch paid off. The suspect was later arrested after going to Bullock County Hospital around 9:30 p.m. where he sought treatment in the emergency room for a gunshot wound. The severity of his injuries was not released, but Cunningham confirmed he was still hospitalized as of Wednesday morning.
The suspect’s name has not been released because he is a juvenile.
Once discharged into police custody, he’ll be held on a $330,000 cash bond for multiple charges, including attempted murder, first-degree robbery and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle.
The sheriff confirmed the witness who fired on the suspect will not face any charges because he was shot at first and is considered a victim since the suspect shot into his vehicle.
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