War vet arrested in Ala., Tenn. officer shootings

AP News
Posted: Nov 29, 2011 7:29 PM
War vet arrested in Ala., Tenn. officer shootings

An Iraq war veteran shot an Alabama deputy sheriff in the face during a police stop minutes after a convenience store robbery late Monday, and then led police on a chase into Tennessee, where an officer was wounded during a shootout with the suspect, authorities said Tuesday.

Joseph Scott Shriver, 23, who gave a Lincoln County, Tenn., address but also had a Texas driver's license, was charged in Tennessee with two counts of attempted murder, evading arrest and possession of a firearm. He has a total bond of $1.6 million.

Madison County, Ala., District Attorney Rob Broussard said Shriver is likely to face attempted murder and assault charges there, according to The Huntsville Times.

Shriver served in the Army from 2008 until last April and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, according to the U.S. Army. The former infantryman deployed to Iraq from November 2009 to August 2010. An Army human resources spokesman declined to disclose details of his separation from the service.

In Alabama, Madison County Deputy Brent Beavers remained Tuesday at Huntsville Hospital following surgery and was expected to recover. In Tennessee, Fayetteville police officer Justin Raby was treated and released at a local hospital for injuries from shrapnel and glass during the second shooting.

Madison County, Ala., Sheriff Blake Dorning said in a news conference that the spree began around 11:30 p.m. CST Monday when a convenience store was robbed northeast of Huntsville, Ala.

A short time later, Beavers spotted a vehicle matching the robbery description and pulled over the driver. Dorning said the driver got out and fired multiple rounds at the deputy's car, striking him in the face.

In a news briefing, Dorning also said a vehicle of the same description was spotted by a Lincoln County deputy, but he lost sight of it.

Lt. Joel Massey, who is in charge of investigations at the Fayetteville Police Department in Tennessee, said Raby and Sgt. Johnny Simmons spotted the suspect in the western part of the county early Tuesday and tried to pull him over. The suspect shot at the two officers, striking their police car several times, authorities said.

Massey said Raby dived into the car to avoid being shot and was injured by glass and shrapnel. Both officers were wearing bulletproof vests. Massey said Simmons returned fire at the suspect, who was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun.

Massey said the suspect drove away, but went off the road into a field and got stuck in the mud. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.

"Everybody is very lucky," Massey said of the shootings.