Montgomery police officer in fatal shooting identified

Published: Feb. 29, 2016 at 1:57 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 30, 2016 at 6:44 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery Police Officer who shot and killed Gregory Gunn early Thursday morning was identified Monday as A.C. Smith.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said Smith, 23, was hired in 2012. Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley confirmed Smith is white.

Finley said there was nothing in the officer's file about problems in the past.

Strange and Finley held a news conference Monday afternoon that was filled with heated and tense moments.

There were many questions about the specifics of the case, including the number of shots fired, possible body camera video, and how the interaction between Gregory Gunn and Smith started, but the mayor gave few answers, saying the investigation and all evidence was turned over to SBI.

WSFA 12 News made an official records request for any body camera and dash camera video involving the shooting. The request was denied, citing that it's an ongoing investigation and nothing would be released.

Strange said there have been 23 burglaries in the Mobile Heights area, the neighborhood where the shooting happened, this year, and there had been special patrols in the area. That special detail had already ended, but everyone knew the burglaries had happened in the early morning hours, Strange said.

Finley said Gregory Gunn, who is black, wasn't known to the police department before the shooting.

Chief of Operations for Montgomery Fire/Rescue Harold Bellinger released new information on the time line of the response to the shooting. He said emergency responders were dispatched at 3:24 a.m., they arrived on the scene at 3:28 a.m. and Gunn was pronounced dead at 3:35 a.m. SBI arrived around 4:30 a.m.

During the question and answer period, Gregory Gunn's brother Franklin Gunn began by asking for five minutes for his brother, which was followed by several minutes of silence. Franklin Gunn became emotional during the moment of silence, as did the police chief. The mayor walked over and offered Gunn a handkerchief, which he accepted.

Franklin Gunn asked the mayor and Finley to bring someone from outside the state to investigate. Gunn also called for Strange and Finley to resign.

Another person in the audience asked for all white officers to be pulled from patrolling black neighborhoods. Strange said no personnel decisions will be made based on race.

The mayor said the investigation will take several weeks and asked for patience and calmness during that time.

He promised the truth would come out and said that will determine the action that is taken.

Gregory Gunn, 59, was shot and killed on McElvey Street. According to Finley, Smith noticed something "suspicious" about Gunn. Smith got out of his patrol car, approached Gunn, and there was a struggle that lasted a block. In the end, Smith fired his weapon and hit Gunn, who died on the scene.






Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.