Mobile police say they may be dealing with a law enforcement impostor, one they believe used a surplus police vehicle to pull over a man early Friday morning near Theodore Dawes Road before fatally shooting him.
Mobile Police Chief James Barber said officers received a call to the Interstate 10 overpass at Theodore Dawes Road, where they located the body of 29-year-old David Patrick Kyles.
According to Barber, Kyles was last known to be leaving the area of Tillman’s Corner and at the time, he was talking on the phone to his girlfriend when he indicated to her he was being stopped by law enforcement.
“To me, this is one of the most significant, serious public safety issues we can have is when you have somebody impersonating law enforcement because they have the ability to isolate people and get them to stop,” Barber said.
However, the incident where the homicide took place is not where police believe the initial confrontation between the victim and the suspect occurred in this case, Barber said.
Officials said they believe an abduction was involved and that Kyles was handcuffed and taken from the location he was stopped.
The indication is that Kyles was shot while handcuffed, MPD spokeswoman Ashley Rains said. Authorities believe he was taken to the location where his body was found.
According to officials, Kyles was driving a 2002 black Honda Accord with an Alabama license plate No. 2AT7771. The vehicle has not yet been located and police ask that if anyone identifies the car, to stay away from the vehicle and call police.
Barber said at least one suspect was seen by a witness, but police have not ruled out the possibility of a second suspect.
The suspect, who was described by witnesses as wearing all black and a hood or mask, was driving an unmarked, white Ford Crown Victoria with a post-mounted spotlight and blue LED lights, similar to those commonly used by law enforcement, Barber said.
Barber said it is most likely a surplus vehicle, which was taken out of service and sold. The Crown Victoria was last registered in Florida, he said.
The Crown Victoria was discovered in a wooded area near the crime scene Friday morning and investigators located police-type vests inside the abandoned vehicle, Barber said.
In addition, Rains said the vehicle had a stolen Mobile County municipal license plate, which a police detective had reported stolen from his take-home vehicle earlier this morning.
Authorities strongly urge everyone to take precaution and call with any information related to this case.
“The key thing to remember is if somebody in an unmarked police car with no visible lights, or if it’s just lights on the dash – if they’re trying to pull you over, and you’re at all concerned that it may not be legitimate law enforcement, turn on your hazard lights to signal to the officer, if it is an officer, that you’re acknowledging that they’re trying to stop you at that point, but continue to drive to an area that’s well lit, well witnessed and that there’s people around, and that’s our best advice,” Barber said. “It’s actually somewhat rare for unmarked cars to be trying to stop somebody to begin with for traffic violations, and so we would say to use every precaution. To me, this is a very significant incident.”
Anyone with information can contact the MPD at 251-208-7211 or by texting the keyword CRIME411 to CRIMES (274637).
We will have more information on this developing case as it becomes available.