Police say the Mobile police officer who was gunned down over the weekend was alone and working undercover when he was confronted and killed by a fugitive.
According to MPD Chief Lawrence Battiste, Officer Sean Tuder was shot multiple times in the parking lot of the Peach Place Inn apartment complex at around 3 p.m. on Jan. 20. Police say he had been waiting for backup to arrest 19-year-old fugitive Marco Antonio Perez.
Battiste said Tuder was off duty over the weekend but requested and received authorization to investigate a tip that Perez had been spotted at the apartment complex. Tuder is said to have coordinated with a supervisor and requested backup, but according to police, he was alone, in plain clothes and driving an unmarked vehicle when he arrived.
Based on MPD’s ongoing investigation, Battiste said Perez approached and confronted Tuder before backup arrived, and he revealed himself as a police officer.
“When Officer Tuder pulled into the parking lot of Peach Place, Perez approached his vehicle at a rapid rate and caused Officer Tuder to take action,” Battiste said. “They engaged in a scuffle, and at some point, Perez pulled a weapon and shot Officer Tuder multiple times.”
Battiste said Tuder was not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time. It also appears Tuder did not fire his weapon and never had a chance to use it, according to Battiste.
Tuder had been working on Perez’s case for months, and Battiste said he couldn’t rule out the possibility Perez recognized Tuder from previous encounters with MPD. He also said there’s been no evidence so far of Tuder possibly having been lured to the scene.
According to Battiste, responding officers weren’t immediately aware Tuder had been shot. How they became aware or how long it took to recognize Tuder’s condition is currently unclear.
Police have also declined to disclose exactly where Tuder was shot or how many times, though audio captured on security footage from a nearby home gives the impression at least three shots were fired.
Tuder was transported to Providence Hospital in a police cruiser but died as a result of injuries he sustained. Perez is facing a capital murder charge and is being held without bond at the Mobile County Metro Jail.
Two visitations for Tuder have been scheduled at Dauphin Way Baptist Church. The first will be Thursday, Jan. 24, 5-8 p.m., the second will be Friday, Jan. 25, 10-11 a.m.
A private funeral and graveside service will follow at Mobile Memorial Gardens on Three Notch Road.
The MPD is also accepting donations to Tuder’s family through the Mobile Law Enforcement Foundation.
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