Attempted murder charges in cop shooting

Published 1:30 am Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The man who is accused of shooting a Columbiana police officer Jan. 22 will face attempted murder charges.

Brandon Contrell Cotton is being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $560,000. He faces charges of shooting officer Jeff Bowers around 3 a.m. Thursday.

Bowers was grazed near the hip while responding to a call on Downing Drive, off Egg and Butter Road. He was treated and released from Shelby Baptist Medical Center that same morning.

Bowers was shot while exiting his police car on a patrol request.

There was an exchange of gunfire, Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe said. No other injuries were reported.

“I’m very thankful that the officer was not injured more,” Lowe said. “Please continue to pray for Officer Bowers.”

Two persons of interest were originally questioned in the case, but Cotton will be the only one charged, Police Chief Lamar Vick said.

Several other agencies responded to help investigate the shooting, including the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.