Shoplifting suspect charged with murder

Christopher Mitchell (photo source Birmingham Police Department)
Christopher Mitchell (photo source Birmingham Police Department)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A man suspected of shoplifting and leading police on a high-speed chase that ended with a deadly car crash was charged Tuesday with murder.

Birmingham Police, in a statement to FOX6 News, said Christopher Mitchell, 21, of Hayden, had been charged with the murder of Pamela Cupps, 51, of Birmingham.

Cupps died Saturday when a car carrying Mitchell hit her vehicle at the intersection of Daniel Payne Drive and Coalburg Road in Birmingham.  Prior to the crash, Mitchell and another suspect had been chased by Fultondale Police in connection with a shoplifting incident at Best Buy.

In addition to murder, Mitchell was also charged for assault for injuries suffered by a second victim during the accident. Mitchell was being held in the Jefferson County Jail on $150,000 bond.

Monday, Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery called the deadly crash "unfortunate" and said his officers followed proper procedure.

"They chased until a certain point," Lowery said. "The gentleman came off the interstate. It was going to be congested area."

The mayor said an officer still followed the suspects. But, at the intersection of Daniel Payne Drive and Coalberg Road, the suspects hit Cupps vehicle, killing Pam Cupps and critically injuring her husband, David.

"Even when you are following procedure and policy, no way you can express your to that family that lost a loved one," Lowery said.

David Cupps was being treated Monday at UAB. The two suspects were also taken to University Hospital for treatment.

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