Updated: Andrew Mitchell was released from the hospital and tranfered to Mobile Metro Jail by police around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13. Police say he’s being booked on three charges for attempted murder for each of the three officers he allegedly fired shots at on Aug. 8.
An investigator’s affidavit has indicated a gun previously stolen from a Mobile Police Officer was used against narcotics officers during a shootout last week that left two suspects wounded.
On Aug. 8, police responded to reports of shots being fired at two officers at the RV Taylor Plaza on Duval Street. The incident ended with one suspect being taken to the hospital and 21-year-old Johnny Vail briefly barricading himself inside an abandoned apartment in the same area.
So far, police have not released or confirmed many details about the shooting. However, an affidavit filed in federal court by Investigator Dennis Owens last week indicates the incident started when two narcotics officers, Santuan McGee and “Sgt. Frost,” noticed Vail walking in the area with Andrew Mitchell.
McGree later told investigators he’d encountered Vail in previous narcotics investigations. Believing Vail might be selling drugs, the officers tried to stop Vail, at which point police say Mitchell allegedly produced a gun and started firing at the officers as they began exiting their patrol unit.
At that point, “Sgt. Frost” — whose first name is not disclosed in Owens’ affidavit — returned fire, striking Mitchell twice and Vail at least once. Mitchell was seriously injured and fell to the ground, but Vail ran into one of the abandoned apartments nearby — dropping a Glock Gen5 9mm pistol and a small brown bag as he attempted to flee on foot. He was later apprehended by Mobile Police Department (MPD) SWAT officers.
While in police custody, Vail allegedly told officers he was given the Glock handgun he dropped on the scene in May 2018 after being released from state prison. He went on to say he believed the gun had belonged to a police officer because he had not seen that particular model on the streets before.
After running the serial number on the weapon, Owens confirmed the pistol Vail claimed he was given in 2018 was actually reported stolen from a Mobile Police Officer’s home earlier this year. Based on the affidavit, it does not appear the officer it was stolen from was involved in the Aug. 6 shooting.
According to the last update from MPD, Mitchell remains in the hospital. He is likely to face attempted murder charges when he is released to police custody. At this point, it’s unclear whether Vail will face any charges related to the actual shooting.
However, court records indicate he has already been charged in state court with receiving stolen property and 14 counts of possession of a forged instrument. Vail is also facing charges in federal court for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Vail has had a lengthy history with the local police.
He was arrested in June 2017 along with two other teenagers as part of an incident that was broadcast live over Facebook. Then in December of that year, he was a “person of interest” in a Christmas night shooting at the Wynnsong Mobile Theater.
He also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in 2017, which sent him to prison for six months.
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