A man who wounded an officer during a shootout with local police last year died Friday morning, in what corrections officers say was an apparent suicide at the Mobile County Metro Jail.
Though information is limited, a spokeswoman for the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has confirmed that 32-year-old Ryan Burkhardt was pronounced dead at around 1:25 a.m. Friday morning after being “rushed to a local hospital” for treatment.
Burkhardt originally faced five counts of attempted murder for the brief shootout he had with officers who were attempting to arrest him on drug trafficking charges in the Grand Bay area last April.In the firefight, Burkhardt — wearing a bulletproof vest — was shot multiple times, though he also struck an undercover officer at least two times. The officer, whose identity was never released to the public, is said to have since recovered.
The 2016 arrest led to the execution of a search warrant at the Miller Trading Post, located at 8900 Moffett Road.
There, officers found hand grenades as well as the components to make other explosives and arrested 44-year old Johnny Lee Crooker for the illegal possession of explosive devices later linked back to Burkhardt.
Despite the litany of charges, federal authorities secured guilty pleas from Burkhardt in April for attempted murder, discharging a firearm and possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine.
A sentencing hearing for those convictions was scheduled two weeks from the time of Burkhardt’s alleged suicide. Because the matter is still under investigation, no additional details about how Burkhardt was found or the manner of his alleged suicide have been released by MCSO.
Lagniappe will update this story when more information has been released from those investigating Burkhardt’s death.
Updated: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Burkhardt’s co-defendant, “Johnny Lee Crooker.”