BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – We’re learning more about an off-duty Birmingham police officer who was shot and killed late Saturday night on Bush Boulevard in Ensley.
Birmingham police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards says West Precinct officer Keary Hollis was killed following an altercation outside Triple T’s Convenience Store. Hollis had been with the department for five and a half years. He became a father to a new born son only two weeks ago, and was looking forward to celebrating his birthday later this month. Fellow officers were planning a party for him.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Hollis inside his vehicle, which had run into an abandoned building next to the store. The officer appeared to have suffered from a gunshot wound to the body. He died at the scene.
The shooting late Saturday night prompted numerous streets to be blocked off as officers and emergency personnel worked the scene and searched for the suspect.
Edwards says a person of interest is in custody in connection with the shooting.
The suspect’s motorcycle was found nearby, leading police to believe the suspect fled the scene on foot,
If there is anyone who has information pertaining to the case, they are encouraged to contact the B.P.D. Homicide Unit @ 254-1764 or Crime Stoppers @ 254-7777.
CBS42 will more on this story throughout the day on CBS42.com and on CBS42 News at 5:30 and 10.
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ORIGINAL: UPDATE: 3:29 a.m.
Lt. Sean Edwards confirms to 42 News that police now have a “person of interest” in custody.
@Chris_Womack Lt. Edwards says the Birmingham Police Dept will not rest until they find the killer @CBS42
@Chris_Womack Lt. Sean Edwards says the officer victim was a 5 year vet working in the west precinct. @CBS42
@Chris_Womack Chief A. C. Roper says the slain officer was by all accounts a good policeman. @CBS42
@Chris_Womack Chopper with spotlight circling Ensley @CBS42
12:58 a.m. Lt. Sean Edwards with Birmingham Police department just wrapped up a briefing with the media. We’re told that the officer was off duty at the time of the shooting. He is a 5 year veteran of the Birmingham Police Department assigned to the West Precinct.
Edwards confirmed the shooting did follow an altercation outside the Triple T’s Convenience Store. But Edwards wouldn’t go into detail regarding the shooting.
The suspects motorcycle was found near by leading police to believe he left the area on foot.
The officer’s name is being withheld tonight as his family members have not been notified.
12:45 a.m. @melissaykim Bham PD stopping and checking every car that goes in and out of perimeter they’ve set up around crime scene @CBS42
12:40 a.m. @Chris_Womack More police showing up in a bus @CBS42
12:17a.m. @melissaykim Birmingham police are looking for suspect who shot officer – a black male, 30-40 years old, wearing dark moto jacket with grey stripes
@Chris_Womack Officer on scene says they have dogs on the ground around store. @CBS42
12:14 a.m. Chris Womack tweeting from scene.
@Chris_Womack Police ordering interstate onlookers back to their cars at scene of officer shooting in Ensley @CBS42
12:09 a.m. Eye witness tells CBS42 Reporter Chris Womack that incident began when a man on motorcycle accused officer of hitting his bike. Witness says officer was shot after getting into vehicle. Witness says officer was not in uniform. This information is not confirmed by Birmingham Police.
11:55 p.m. Birmingham police officers continue to block streets around Bush Boulevard. Perimeter extends about 7 blocks in each direction. Avoid area.
11:53 p.m. – Local police agencies began sending messages of condolences via social media.
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
Our hearts are heavy tonight with the news a #Birmingham Police Officer has been killed in Ensley tonight near Bush Blvd. Another Officer was struck by a vehicle in I-59 near Arkadelphia. Please avoid these areas on I-59 in #Birmingham.
11:46 p.m. – Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Police Chief A.C. Roper are on the scene. Will address media shortly.
11:18 p.m. Lt. Sean Edwards has confirmed that the officer shot at 2517 Bush Boulevard has died. Investigators have taped off a seven block area around the crime scene as they search for the suspect they believe to be in the area. K9 officers are working to help track the suspect.
The officer struck on I-20/59 at Arkadelphia Road is okay. This incident is unrelated to the shooting.
CBS42 has several crews on the scene. Stay with CBS42.com for the latest on this Breaking Story.
CBS42 has several crews working on breaking news at this hour.
We have confirmed with Birmingham PIO Lt. Sean Edwards that a Birmingham Police Officer has been shot in the line of duty. An investigation is underway at 2517 Bush Boulevard. The officer’s condition is not known at this time. But we are told police are looking for a person of interest who left the scene on a motorcycle.
A second officer is also down… I-2059 South at the Arkadelphia Road exit. We’re told that officer was struck by a vehicle.
We’re told these investigations are not connected.
Stay with CBS42.com as we update this breaking news story.