Pelham police officer shot and killed during traffic stop on I-65, suspect apprehended and charged with capital murder

Published 6:53 am Friday, December 4, 2009

A Pelham police officer was shot and killed at approximately 11:50 p.m. Thursday night following a traffic stop on Interstate 65 near the 243 mile marker.

Philip Davis, 33, became the first officer to die in the line of duty for the city of Pelham.

Hoover Police detained two suspects, Bart Wayne Johnson of Kimberly, who is believed to be the alleged shooter, and his brother, Bill Johnson, who is a Trussville police officer.

Both men have since been transported to the Shelby County Jail, and Bart Johnson has been charged with capital murder and is being held without bond.

An initial investigation has revealed the alleged shooter fled the scene on I-65 following the shooting, with part of the incident being caught on the police car camera.

Both north and southbound lanes were closed due to the investigation this morning, but have since re-opened.

The alleged shooter was later spotted trying to break into a car in Birmingham, before being picked up by the Trussville officer in his personal truck.

The truck was later stopped by Hoover Police on I-65 and the two suspects were apprehended without incident and transported to the Hoover Police Department.

Davis, who has been with the Pelham PD for four and a half years, leaves behind a wife and two children. He would have turned 34 next month.

“He was an excellent police officer,” said Pelham Police Chief Tommy Thomas. “He loved his job and we loved him.”

District Attorney Robbie Owens echoed the statements of Thomas.

“Philip was a genuinely good, Christian person and a kind and dear police officer,” Owens said. “We will all miss Philip. He was a good man.”

Pelham Mayor Don Murphy thanked all the local law enforcement agencies for assisting in the effort.

“It’s a sad day for Pelham and law enforcement all over the country,” Murphy said as he fought back tears. “It really gives me confidence, very much confidence, in the police force and how they work together.”

But above all, Murphy praised the efforts of those Pelham Police officers who first responded to the call.

“You can imagine seeing your comrade in these conditions,” Murphy said. “It’s astounding that they could do that and carry on with professionalism. I’m so proud of them.”

The investigation is still ongoing.