MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A family is seeking answers after an Alabama police officer last week shot and killed a man yards from his own front door.
Greg Gunn, 58, of Montgomery, died early Thursday morning after a police officer on patrol spotted him walking in a residential neighborhood a little before 3:20 a.m. Authorities on Monday identified the police officer as A.C. Smith, who joined the force in 2012.
Police Chief Ernest Finley said Smith deemed Gunn "suspicious," left his car and approached Gunn on foot. A struggle ensued before Smith fatally shot Gunn, Finley said.
Finley confirmed Smith is white. Gunn was black.
At a Monday news conference, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said he couldn't specify why Smith deemed Gunn suspicious but said all patrol officers were aware of a rash of burglaries in the area lately.
Local attorney Tyrone Means, who represents the Gunn family, said Gunn attended a regular card game with friends Wednesday after he got off work. Gunn frequently walked from his friend's house to his home a few blocks away, where he lived with his mother.
"Trayvon Martin was a black kid walking in a predominantly white neighborhood, and someone just thought he looked suspicious," Means said. "Greg Gunn was in a community in which he was well-known and well-loved. That's scary."
Gunn and his family grew up in the west Montgomery neighborhood, Means said. After a divorce, he had returned home to care for his mother.
"All this gentleman was doing was walking home," Means said. "Little did the family expect that a walk this man has done all his life would end with him dying in terror."
Family and community activists want answers from city authorities and police, specifically about possible body and patrol camera footage.
But city officials said the situation is out of their hands while the State Bureau of Investigations handles the case.
"We're not satisfied either," Strange said Monday. "We obviously want answers. It's out of our hands. We've done everything possible to make sure this is done correctly."
Strange said the crime scene was immediately sealed Thursday after Gunn was declared dead around 3:35 a.m., and no police officers reviewed any potential camera footage at the scene. All evidence was turned over to SBI, Strange said, who arrived on scene around 4:30 a.m.
Means said the Gunn family is concerned about their family but also "broader implications" of Gunn's death.
"If nothing else, perhaps this will change the way law enforcement responds," Means said. "There has to be some manner of screening people who do not have the discernment or discretion to use a lethal weapon."
SBI on Monday would not comment on any aspect of the investigation. Strange said he has requested SBI expedite the investigation.