A former Alabama state trooper has shot the district attorney for Alabama’s 17th Judicial Circuit, Greg Griggers, directly in the face today in an ambush attack.
Griggers was rushed to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
The local news site AL.com reports that the former trooper, Steven Smith, Jr., was killed by law enforcement responding to the crime scene after he shot the DA.
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“Griggers got shot in the face and they killed the ex-state trooper who shot him,” Michael Jackson, district attorney for Alabama’s 4th Judicial Circuit told AL.com Thursday afternoon.
Jackson also said that the dead assailant, Smith, has been investigated in the past in conjunction with a 1996 shotgun attack on the home of Sumter County Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway, the first black judge to preside over Sumter, Marengo, and Greene counties in the state. Griggers, the victim of today’s shooting, was the district attorney for those same counties and a registered Democrat in deep red Alabama.
“It is the same trooper [from] all those years ago. My agents with the [4th Judicial Circuit] drug task force have been down there for a few hours and they say it’s definitely him,” Jackson told the website. “I asked them if they were 100 percent sure it’s him and they said they are.”
While Griggers is expected to survive the head-on shooting, the assault on a member of the Alabama law enforcement establishment has rattled local officials.
The U.S. Attorney for Alabama’s Northern District, Jay E. Town, expressed his concern in a statement issued to the press.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Greg and his family,” Town said. “District Attorney Griggers is a dedicated public servant and an honorable man. This serves as yet another reminder of the perils and dangers that law enforcement at every level face daily.”
A reporter from WVUA-TV 23 News in Tuscaloosa added more detail to the incident in a Twitter post.
UPDATE: An SBI Investigator on the scene confirms Griggers was sitting in his vehicle outside his office in downtown Demopolis when he was ambushed. Another law enforcement officer shot the suspect. The suspect is dead on the scene. https://t.co/ioko2DgvNV
— Chelsea Barton (@ChelseaBarton_) November 15, 2018
Add one more angry white male to the list of armed perpetrators of terrorism plaguing our country after President Trump’s campaign to make hatred great in America once he joined the political fray. With Trump’s continual attacks on the rule of law and his relentless fear-mongering, it’s difficult not to attribute at least part of the blame to him for the 17% rise in hate crimes in the country last year.
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Original reporting by Connor Sheets at AL.com.
Correction: An earlier version of this article had a headline that erroneously referred to the victim as “A Democratic Attorney General.” This has been corrected to reflect his actual title, District Attorney.