HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville man is out of the hospital and facing a long list of charges after a wild police chase that ended with him being shot by officers.
Clifford Landers, 31, is accused of ramming police cars and even trying to hit one of the officers in his attempts to dodge police.
He’s now in the Madison County Metro Jail.
It started on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville just after 4 a.m. on Friday, March 22. UAH officials say campus police officers attempted to stop a silver Mercury Sable for multiple traffic violations.
UAH spokesman Ray Garner said the driver failed to yield to the officer’s request to stop and a pursuit ensued traveling east on University Drive where UAH police were joined by Huntsville police.
The pursuit ended in downtown Huntsville on Cleveland Avenue. According to information released by UAH, Landers then rammed two UAH police cars and attempted to strike one of the officers with his vehicle.
The UAH officer then fired his weapon at Landers.
Landers was shot and taken to Huntsville Hospital. He was initially listed in critical condition. He’s since been treated and released and booked into jail.
Garner said Landers has no affiliation with UAH.
The two UAH police officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation.
Landers was booked into the Madison County Jail on March 29. He is facing several charges, including attempt to commit murder, attempting to elude a police officer, reckless endangerment, and driving with a suspended license.
He will appear in court on April 24 for a hearing.
He does not have a bond because he also has a probation violation or revocation.
A passenger in Landers’ vehicle was treated for leg cramps following the incident. The passenger was not charged in the incident.
Tim Gann, Chief Trial Attorney for the Madison County District Attorney’s Office, has been working with Huntsville police on the Landers case.
“I have been in contact with the Huntsville Police Department who is actually working the case for UAH. And yes, the charges are very serious. Anytime you have an allegation of attempted murder against a police officer, it’s something we take very seriously. Attempted murder is a Class A felony so the range of punishment is 10 to life,” Gann said. “We have to have respect for law enforcement and authority and anytime someone tries to do them harm, it’s something we take very serious.”
Huntsville Attorney Mark McDaniel talked about the law as it applies to officer involved shootings in Alabama.
“The law says a police officer can use deadly physical force if he is reasonable in his belief that he has to use that force to effect an arrest for a felony, number one. Or number two, he can use deadly physical force if he reasonably beliefs the other person is using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against him or another person in his presence," McDaniel explained.
UAH has 17 certified police officers. Their certification comes from the State Police Academy.
“Campus police officers are treated like any other police officers, there’s no distinction in Alabama law between a police officer at UAH or Alabama A & M, and HPD or Madison County Sheriff’s Office or Airport Authority police officers. There’s no distinction there. They go through the same training. The same law applies to them,” McDaniel said.
He has represented officers involved in shootings and says it’s one of the hardest calls they make on the job.
“The officer has to make a decision in a matter of seconds,” McDaniel added. “In Alabama, a vehicle would be considered a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. So if you try to run over somebody with a vehicle, that vehicle is considered a deadly weapon or dangerous incident. It would be like pulling a gun on somebody.”
The Huntsville Police Department was requested to investigate the police-involved shooting.