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June 7, 2020

DAILYKENN.com -- A convicted felon has been charged in the shooting of a Birmingham, Alabama policeman during a traffic stop.

Reports say Kenneth Dewayne Whitehead, 40, was arrested after a traffic stop turned into a foot chase and shootout.

Whitehead reportedly initiated a gunfight in which Sgt. Anthony Wheeler, 35, was wounded in the leg during the foot chase.

Whitehead was also wounded in the exchange of gunfire. 

The suspect is charged with two counts of attempted murder. Two others have been arrested, reports say.

From al.com ▼

Court records show Whitehead in 2005 pleaded guilty to robbery in Jefferson County. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with five to serve. According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, Whitehead had nine disciplinary infractions while serving his sentence at Bibb County Correctional Facility.

It wasn’t immediately clear when he was initially released, but court records indicate his probation was revoked in June 2010 when he was arrested on felony charges of possession of marijuana and cocaine, as well as resisting arrest. The resisting charge was dismissed, but he pleaded guilty in 2011 to the drug charges and received a one-year, three-month suspended sentence.

According to ADOC, Whitehead was last released from prison on April 4, 2016.

From apnews.com ▼

...Wheeler and another officer pulled over a truck that was hauling another vehicle. Birmingham Police Deputy Chief Scott Praytor said recent car thefts in the area had been committed using trucks with trailers __ or unmarked tow-trucks.

When the car stopped, Whitehead and another suspect, fled from the vehicle and a foot chase began, Praytor said.

During the pursuit, Wheeler tripped and Whitehead shot at him, Praytor said.

“He (the suspect) had the opportunity to escape,” Praytor said. “That just speaks to the mindset of some of the violent offenders we deal with out here.”

Wheeler and the other officer returned fire, Praytor said.

Wheeler is a 10-year veteran of the department. Whitehead is a convicted felon. Court records said he’s pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of marijuana and cocaine. Whitehead was last released from prison in April 2016. 



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