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City of Birmingham mourns loss of police sergeant Wytasha Carter

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From left: North Precinct comander Capt. James Jackson, Assistant Chief of Police Allen Treadaway, Chief of Police Patrick Smith, Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams. Smith and Woodfin updated the fatal shooting of a Birmingham police officer that took place early Sunday morning. (Erica Wright Photo, The Birmingham Times)
By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

The Birmingham police officer slain in the line of duty early Sunday morning was very compassionate and a natural born leader and prayers are being asked for his family, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham Chief of Police Patrick Smith said on Sunday.

The deceased officer has been identified as Sergeant Wytasha Carter.

“Sergeant Carter has served in law enforcement for the past 16 years, he’s served in Birmingham for the last eight years and everyone around him who has worked with him has indicated he was a very compassionate, natural born leader,” said Smith.

The shooting is being investigated by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

Officers were responding to the 900 block of 5th Avenue North when they approached two suspects just before 2:00 a.m.

When officers discovered a weapon on one of the suspects, he opened fire, killing one officer and critically injuring the other.

Smith said that one suspect, age 31, is also in critical condition and the second suspect, age 18, is in custody. The chief said there could be a third suspect still on the loose.

“We will keep all options open, we’re trying to determine exactly how many people were there, exactly what occurred and all of this falls under the scope of their [SBI] investigation,” said Smith, about a possible third suspect.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the second officer but said he has been with the force for two years.

Smith said that fellow officers enjoyed working with and around Carter.

“They appreciated his friendship, his compassion and everything that he brought to the Birmingham Police Department. We’ve endured a great loss and not only does North Precinct feel it, it is felt all across this department. As we continue to pray for Sergeant Carter’s family, please keep in mind . . . your prayers to our officer who is still in intensive care at UAB . . . his condition is very critical.”

Woodfin asked for prayers for Carter’s family, the second officer, and the entire department.

“Our entire community is mourning,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many officers who knew Sgt. Carter very well, friends with Sgt. Carter [who] worked in various capacities with him and their hearts are heavy as they continue to try to do their work.

“It’s important that we keep in mind that the officers out there that continue to work and serve this community every single day, I want them to hear this from me that even in this time that is tough, to keep their head up and to know that their mayor, their City Council, and the entire community is with them,” Woodfin said.

Smith also thanked police officers and departments across the state as well as country for their support and help during this difficult time.

“I want to thank our law enforcement partners, I’ve gotten emails, calls and text messages from people all across the country and from police departments I’ve never heard of but they still share and feel the pain of what we are having to endure today,” he said.

One Birmingham Police Officer Killed and Another Wounded

ABC3340.com

A Birmingham police officer is dead and another is critically wounded while investigating a car burglary.

The deceased officer has been identified as Sergeant Wytasha Carter.

The officers were responding to the 700 block of 5th Avenue North when they approached two suspects just before 2:00 A.M.

When officers discovered a weapon on one of the suspects, he opened fire, killing one officer and critically injuring the other.

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith says that one suspect is also in critical condition and the second suspect is in custody. He also indicated there could be a third suspect still on the loose.

On Sunday morning, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin issued the following statement:

Sgt. Wytasha Carter gave his life early this morning for the city he served.

This husband and father was a true public servant and will be honored by each of us.

As this investigation continues, I ask that everyone pause and reflect on how our Birmingham police officers go out every day to protect our community.

We also remain in prayer for the second officer who was shot along with Sgt. Carter. He is currently in critical condition.

As the scripture teaches us, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Each day, Birmingham police officers risk their lives when they report for duty.

This is a time of mourning for our city, but please know our police officers are dedicated to justice and continued service for the people of Birmingham.

On Sunday afternoon, Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway issued the following statement:

“My sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the officers involved in today’s unfortunate shooting.

“Sgt. Wytasha Carter was a courageous man and his sacrifice will be forever remembered.

“My thoughts and prayers are with my fellow law enforcement colleagues. My office will be available to the Birmingham Police Department should any additional resources be needed.”