A suspect was shot and injured Monday evening after engaging two Mobile Police officers in gunfire on the 7900 block of Tanner Williams Road, Chief James Barber said at a press conference Tuesday.
Officers responding to a call of a burglary in process were greeted with gunfire by 42-year-old James Joseph Fulton before they could exit their patrol cars.Barber said Fulton fired seven rounds at the officers with an SKS assault rifle, before officer Alex Jones was able to fire a round from his pistol into Fulton’s right elbow. Barber said Fulton and the officers were about 45 yards apart.
Jones and the other officer, who was not named, were not injured in the exchange, but four of the seven rounds Fulton fired did hit their patrol vehicles, spokeswoman Ashley Rains said. Barber said a bullet hit the spotlight of Jones’ car before he was able to exit it.
Barber said the assault rifle Fulton used belonged to the homeowner, whom did not know the intruder and was not home at the moment Fulton allegedly broke in. When the homeowner arrived, as the burglary was in progress, Fulton shot off one round, Barber said.
Upon release from the hospital, Fulton faces three counts of attempted murder, a charge of attempted theft of property and two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle, Rains said.
Barber described Fulton’s actions as “psychotic” and said, given the caliber of weapon he used, it’s lucky the officers weren’t injured or worse. According to policy, both officers were placed on administrative leave, pending a complete investigation.