Off-duty B’ham officer shot while responding to call

Off-duty B’ham officer shot while responding to call
Heavy police presence on Georgia Road (Source: WBRC Fox6 News)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - An off-duty Birmingham Police officer was shot three times while responding to a call Sunday morning on Georgia Road.

The Officer has been identified as John Finke. He is a detective in the Narcotics Unit.

A 16-year-old suspect and a 25-year-old suspect are in custody after cell phones were traced to a location in Ensley.

The officer was working off-duty for the Church of the Highlands in Woodlawn. He responded to a nearby robbery call.

The suspect fired at the officer and struck the officer three times. He was shot twice in the abdomen and once under the arm.

Authorities are trying to determine the number of suspects at this time. They do have witnesses as two people were robbed before the shooting took place.

The officer is currently at UAB. He was taken into surgery, but was conscious when being taken back for surgery. He is currently listed as critical condition in the ICU.

“Between last year and the year before, we took like 4,000 handguns off the street, and in most of those incidents we did so very safely,” said Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith. “There is always that one time, one moment you know, where things like this happen. So we just have to do more to be prepared, do more as far as our training, and do more to make sure our officers are completely alert and aware of what is happening.”

The officer has been with the Birmingham Police Department since 2005. It appears at the time of the shooting that the officer was in uniform but was not wearing a protective vest.

It is unknown if the officer returned fire, and ABI will be handling that portion of the investigation.

The department has set a perimeter around the area.

They tracked two cell phones from the robbery to the Winn Dixie in Ensley. They do have a person in custody and recovered a handgun and the two stolen cell phones.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District released the following on Twitter:

PRAYERS NEED NOW! It is just incredible the ease with which criminals in America graduate so quickly to extreme violence, especially against our brave men and women in law enforcement. Our thoughts are with the officer. Our sights are on finding the shooter! #EnoughIsEnough

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