Cullman Sheriff: Suspect in deadly security guard shooting kills self following chase

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 1:35 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2021 at 7:45 AM CST
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JEFFERSON Co., Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County deputies said two security guards at an active strip mine were shot early Wednesday morning, one of them, an 80-year-old man, was killed.

The Jefferson County coroner identified the victim as 80-year-old Samuel Owens Bell, Jr. of Bessemer.

UPDATE: Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said a suspect in the shooting killed himself following a chase Wednesday afternoon.

At approximately 12:45 p.m., Cullman County Sheriff’s Deputies observed a suspicious vehicle that was determined to be reported stolen and involved in a homicide in Jefferson County.

The suspect refused to stop and attempted to elude deputies. The pursuit continued on Hwy 278 West. Ultimately, the suspect got stuck, ran off and stole another vehicle.

The pursuit continued towards Winston County. Other law enforcement agencies became involved in the pursuit. Addison Police Officers were able to successfully deploy spike strips and eventually disable the vehicle. Once the vehicle was stopped and the chase ended, Deputies discovered the suspect was deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The case will be turned over to ABI for further investigation.


Deputies said around 1:00 a.m., Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies received a call that was transferred from the Bessemer Police Department, regarding a male who had been shot. The victim was taken to the hospital but was unable to speak with detectives.

Detectives began speaking with responding medical personnel to gather information given by the victim. According to personnel reports, the crime was said to have occurred near the 4000 block of Blue Creek Road in Western Jefferson County, but the victim was able to drive himself to a location on Powder Plant Road, where he made contact with authorities.

Deputies went to Blue Creek Road, but were unable to locate a crime scene due to the vast area of vacant land at the location.

The 44-year-old male victim is currently at UAB Hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.

Around 6:40 a.m. deputies were dispatched to the 4000 block of Blue Creek Road in Western Jefferson County on a second report of someone who died. Deputies arrived to find an 80-year-old man, Samuel Owens Bell, Jr., who died from an apparent gunshot wound.

The victim’s 2005 black Cadillac Escalade SUV bearing Alabama tag 1CT7896 was taken from the scene.

Both victims worked at the Blue Creek Road location as security guards at an active strip mine. The body of the second victim was located by contractors who arrived at the strip pit this morning to work.

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If you have any information regarding the shootings, please contact Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777 or the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 205-325-1450, option 2.


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