Authorities are searching for a man who allegedly slammed his car into two police cruisers Friday and caused an officer to open fire near on the streets of Prichard.
Police Chief Walter Knight said the incident occurred after two of his officers responded to a report of domestic violence and harassment on Miles Road Friday around noon.
According to Knight, 39-year-old Trenton Eaton was waiting inside of a vehicle when the officer arrived at the home where the incident had been reported. Shortly after they pulled up, Eaton is said to have rammed one of the officer’s vehicles with his own car before fleeing the scene.
After losing sight of him momentarily, Eaton was spotted near Shelton Beach Road.
“[He] then looped around in a parking lot and went heads up, driving his vehicle toward another one of the Prichard units,” Knight said. “At that time, one of the officers exited the vehicle. He felt his life was in danger and he started firing shots [toward Eaton’s vehicle].”
After striking the second police cruiser, Eaton is said to have fled the scene in a Black 2000 model Nissan Xterra. According to police, the vehicle’s tag number is 2CD2186, and it should have visible damage from crashes as well as bullet holes.
Eaton was last spotted heading down Shelton Beach Road toward Mobile According to Knight, Eaton is known to frequent the Eight Mile community.
At this time, it’s unclear whether Eaton had been struck by the officer, but Knight said police don’t have information to suggest he was shot. He also said PPD was still investigating the incident to determine how many shots were actually fired by the officer at the scene.
“It’s unknown if [Eaton] is armed, but I would consider him dangerous,” Knight said. “Both officers are fine, they’re just a little shook up. I think anybody would be shook up after that.”
Mobile Metro Jail records indicate Eaton is no stranger to local law enforcement. He’s faced a number of charges that range from breaking and entering and assault to drug possession. He’s been arrested eight times in Mobile County dating back to 2004, according to jail records.
Eaton was allegedly involved in a very similar incident with the Saraland Police Department almost a year ago to the day. On May 15, 2018, Eaton struck two police cruisers while being pursued by officers from Saraland responding to reports he’d been shoplifting in the area.
Similar to what Knight described in Prichard, reports from the time indicate that Eaton got onto Interstate 65 before making a U-turn and intentionally striking two police cruisers.
He was eventually arrested after that incident and charged with two counts of attempted assault, reckless driving, theft of property, leaving the scene of an accident and criminal mischief. Court records indicate Eaton is currently out on bond for those charges ahead of a trial in September.
Anyone with further information on Eaton’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Prichard Police Department at (251) 452-2211.
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