UPDATE Tuesday at 6:30 P.M. –
Mobile Police Chief James Barber says the investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting is not over, but so far investigators have pieced together preliminary evidence in the case based on witness statements. Chief Barber told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he and other law enforcement leaders met with the family of 19-year-old Mike Moore. He is the driver who was shot during a traffic stop in Mobile near Stanton Road on Monday. Chief Barber says two witnesses, who were riding with Mike Moore, spoke to police about the shooting and the events leading up to it. Another witness, who happened to be driving by the traffic stop, also talked with police investigators.
Chief Barber told reporters that the officer noticed the driver of the Lexus make a traffic violation. The officer pulled the driver, Mike Moore, over for the violation. Chief Barber says the officer asked Moore for his license and registration, but Moore did not have either one. The driver gave police a name, which turned out to be false. The officer also called in the license plate number and the Lexus came back as a stolen car. The two witnesses told investigators that as the officer was getting information about the driver, Moore pulled a gun out which was tucked between the seat and console. Witnesses said Moore put the gun in his waistband.
When the officer returned to the Lexus, he ordered the driver out of the car. The officer noticed the gun in the driver’s waistband as did a witness driving by the traffic stop. The officer ordered the driver to not reach for the weapon, but he did. The officer fired three shots, and then Chief Barber says the teenager reached for the gun a second time when he was down on the ground. The officer then fired the fourth shot.
Chief James Barber says there is no standard amount of shots to use in cases like this one. “What officer’s are actually trained to do is when confronted with deadly force is to use deadly force to the extent necessary to stop the threat.”
There is not video of this deadly shooting. Officers in Mobile wear body cams, but Chief Barber says the officer involved in this case was on his way to work and had not picked up his body cam from the police precinct. Other officers who responded after the shooting were wearing body cameras, but their videos do not show the actual shooting.
Mobile Police have asked federal agencies to conduct a parallel investigation in this shooting. U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown has a promise to the community. “I can guarantee that there will be a thorough investigation of this that is independent.”
FBI Special Agent Rob Lasky in Mobile echoes Brown’s statement saying, ” the FBI will collect all available evidence and ensure the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner. The investigation is in to the use of deadly force and if any of Mr. Moore’s civil rights were violated.”
The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office says it will search for the truth in this case. Deborah Tillman is the Chief Assistant District Attorney and says the prosecutor’s investigation will be “based on facts, it will be based on law” and will be turned over to a Mobile County Grand Jury.
UPDATE Tuesday at 4:30 P.M. –
Mobile, Alabama Police Chief James Barber released new details of an officer involved shooting where a 19-year-old man was shot and killed. The press conference wrapped up at Mobile Police Headquarters around 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon. Here are the quick facts and timeline of events revealed:
- 19-year-old Mike Moore was stopped by police officer Monday, June 13 near Stanton Road
- Chief Barber says Moore told officer he did not have driver’s license or registration
- Moore then gave false information to police officer
- Officer called in tag number of the Lexus and it came back as a stolen car
- Two witnesses inside the Lexus car told police Moore placed a handgun from beside the seat into his waistband
- Officer ordered Moore out of the car
- A witness driving by saw gun inside Moore’s waistband
- Chief Barber says officer ordered Moore not to reach for weapon
- Witnesses say Moore reached for gun and officer fired three shots
- Chief says Moore reached for weapon a second time while he was on the ground; officer fired fourth shot
- Police say 3 shots hit Moore
- Officer did handcuff Moore after shooting; handcuffs taken off when medics arrived
- Police say gun in waistband was loaded
- MPD Officer is on administrative leave as investigation continues
- Moore’s family met with Chief James Barber around 3:00 p.m. Tuesday
Hear U.S.Attorney Kenyen Brown discuss the independent investigation in this shooting.
UPDATE Tuesday at 12:00 P.M. –
Chief James Barber says the FBI will look in to the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man by a Mobile Police officer Monday night. Michael Moore was shot several times. A police spokesperson says Moore was pulled over on a traffic stop, was uncooperative, and was shot when he reached for a pistol that was found in the car. The shooting happened about 7:00 p.m. off Stanton Road near the USA Medical Center. Moore is black, the police officer white. Chief Barber addressed the city council and mayor Tuesday morning and said the department will work quickly to find out exactly what happened last night. Barber says beyond police internal affairs and homicide investigations, the FBI will also examine the shooting. It’s an unusual move, but Barber says these are unusual times.
“I guess the challenges facing law enforcement in our country today and people wanting to trust, or maybe mistrust police and whether or not they have the ability to police themselves in an officer involved shooting from the same agency,” he said.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson endorses the idea. “Having the FBI engaged in this, I think it puts a lot of issues to test that people have concerns about how this will be handled,” Stimpson said.
Chief Barber says it’s still unclear if there is video of the incident but says it’s unlikely since the officer involved was just coming on his shift and hadn’t yet been to the station where the body cameras are typically left on chargers. That’s something that one city council member says has to change.
“As long as an officer is driving a police car, and he has a uniform on, and he’s going to be stopping people, and policing people, he needs a body camera,” said Fred Richardson who represents the area where the shooting took place.
Chief Barber says the officer has been on the force four and a half years, but provided no other details about his background or about the background of Moore.
The chief says two people in the car with Moore have been interviewed as well as two neighbors who may have witnessed the shooting. Police plan an afternoon press conference to provide more details. News 5 will have updates here on wkrg.com and on News 5 at 5:00 p.m.
UPDATE: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been asked to investigate the shooting of a Mobile Man by a Mobile Police officer. Michael Moore, 18, was shot and killed Monday evening following a traffic stop in the Toulminville community of Mobile.
According to police, the officer saw the driver commit a traffic violation and stopped the car. During the stop the officer determined there was a problem with the license plate on the car and the driver did not have a license.
The driver was asked to get out of the vehicle. The officer said it appeared the suspect reached for a weapon and that’s when the officer opened fire, striking the suspect four times. He was taken to USA Medical Center where he later died.
Police did recover a semi-automatic .40 caliber Smith and Wesson from the scene.
Four people were taken to police headquarters to be interviewed, including two people who were inside the car.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson issued a statement about the incident Tuesday morning:
“Last night, a Mobile Police officer was involved in a fatal shooting just before 7 p.m. First and foremost, our prayers and condolences are with the family of Mike Moore. Any time a life is lost it is a tragedy. The incident is under investigation by the Mobile Police Department. We have called upon the FBI to run a parallel investigation with the MPD. I have complete confidence that the investigation will reveal the facts. I expect that this process will be as transparent as is legally possible. We ask for prayer and patience until the full facts are revealed.”
Internal affairs is investigating the incident and the officer has been placed on administrative duty, pending preliminary results of the investigation.