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Selma officer discharges firearm during scuffle

caution tape: Selma Police Department officers work the scene of a traffic stop Wednesday off Magnum Avenue.

Selma Police Department officers work the scene of a traffic stop Wednesday off Magnum Avenue, where a Selma officer discharged his or her gun after a scuffle. 

A Selma Police Department officer has been put on paid administrative leave after discharging a gun Wednesday following a scuffle during a traffic stop.

Selma PD responded to a domestic violence call in the 1200 block of Woodrow Avenue at about 12:20 p.m. When officers arrived at Selma Square Apartments, they learned their suspect had just left the scene in a vehicle, said Selma Lt. Johnny King, the department’s Internal Affairs Division commander.

Police caught up with the car on the 1000 block of Mangum Avenue, and an officer recognized Ricky Mitchell, 22, in the rear seat as someone who had outstanding arrest warrants.

“The officers directed him to stay in the vehicle numerous times. The subject kept moving around continuously in the vehicle and he tried to exit the vehicle numerous times,” King said. “He was ordered to remain in the vehicle and to remain still, but he continuously disobeyed the orders or commands.”

The commander said the situation continued to escalate.

“At one point, [Mitchell] opened the rear door and became aggressive towards the officers and at which time he grabbed one of the officers and a tussle ensued and at which point an officer discharged their weapon,” King said. “After the discharge, the suspect was tasered with little or no effect. The suspect continued to resist, and at one point, struck the officer with a chair as he attempted to flee the area.”

After a brief foot pursuit Mitchell, of Selma, was taken into police custody, King said.

Officers examined the suspect and found he sustained a minor abrasion, according to King. He was taken to Vaughan Regional Medical Center and later released to the Dallas County Jail.

Selma Police Chief William T. Riley declined to comment Thursday on whether or not the officer’s discharge of his or her weapon caused Mitchell’s injury.

Mitchell had felony warrants of attempted murder, third-degree burglary and second-degree unlawful possession of marijuana through the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, according to King. Giving false name, resisting arrest and probation violation charges were issued following Wednesday’s incident, according to District Attorney Michael Jackson.

Additional charges are expected.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation was notified and is now in charge of the investigation.

The officer who fired the weapon has worked for the department for about four years and will continue to be on administrative leave until further notice, according to Riley.

Attempts to reach attorney Garrison Thompson, a man Jackson identified as Mitchell’s attorney, were unsuccessful late Thursday afternoon.