SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Selma police say a local couple was forced to protect themselves from a gunman who tried to rob them in their driveway.
They fought back, and the suspect was killed.
According to officials, the fatal shooting was an act of self-defense.
Gunfire in the 1500 block of Leroy Street sent residents diving for cover late Wednesday night around 11:30 p.m.
"I heard about five or six shots. I was so scared I got up under the bed. I hid there because I was just too scared. I didn't know where the shots were coming from," said one woman who asked not to be identified.
Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier says a couple had just gotten home and was getting out of the car when a gunman ran up on them and told them to "give it up."
The male victim was shot during the robbery, but managed to reach for his own weapon as the suspect went around to the other side of the car.
"As he approached the driver, he attempted to rob him and shot him and then after that, he went around to the passenger side and got the purse from the female. The male victim was able to produce his firearm and load it and engage in gunfire in an effort to protect his life and the female's life and killed the subject," Chief Collier said.
The suspect, identified by police as Tyner Rose, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene.
"The robber tried to rob somebody and the person he tried to rob had a gun on him and there was a shootout and the robber got shot and killed," said Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson. "In Alabama, you have the right to self-defense and of course, if you're a victim and someone is trying to rob you or burglarize your home, you have a right to use deadly force."
The male victim was treated and released from the hospital. The female victim, who the chief says is a Selma city employee, was not injured.
"She was obviously traumatized, but she wasn't hurt," Collier added.
Police acknowledged the wounded male victim who was attacked is a convicted felon who is not allowed to have a gun.
"It's not OK for a felon to have a firearm. At this point, the investigation pretty clearly indicates that the male victim returning fire possibly saved both his and the female's life," Collier stated.
The case will be presented to a Dallas County grand jury for review.
"Right now, this looks like a self-defense case," Jackson said. "Unfortunately, this is what is going on in Selma. We have a lot of gang activity and violent crime. And we're going to stand behind victims who protect themselves."
Chief Collier says there's an ongoing effort by the police department to tackle a recent spike in crime in that part of Selma.
"We have been working that particular area very hard. I have personally spent two days patrolling that area and it's just unfortunate that this has happened there," he explained.
He's been in communication with the city councilman for that ward, as well as the mayor, and will continue to have a strong presence of officers in those neighborhoods.
"We'll continue to concentrate on the area with hard, heavy patrols. This seems to have been a crime of opportunity," the chief added.