Funeral arrangements set for fallen Pelham police officer

Published 4:36 pm Sunday, December 6, 2009

Funeral arrangements have been set for Philip Davis, the Pelham police officer who was shot and killed Dec. 3 following a traffic stop on Interstate 65.

Visitation will be Monday from 5-7 p.m. at the Church at Brook Hills.

The funeral will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Church at Brook Hills.

The church is located at 3145 Brook Highland Parkway.

Burial will be at Southern Heritage Funeral Home in Pelham.

A fund for Davis’ family has been set up and contributions can be made at any America’s First Credit Union.

Davis, 33, leaves behind a wife and two children.

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

He 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 charged with capital murder, and his brother, Bill Johnson, who is a Trussville police officer.

Both men were transported to the Shelby County Jail, and Bart Johnson has been charged with capital murder and is being held without bond. Bill has not been charged with any crime.

Bart Johnson’s preliminary hearing will be Jan. 6 before Judge Dan Reeves at 8:30 a.m.

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

Bart Johnson shot Davis after being pulled over for speeding.

Both north- and southbound lanes were closed approximately six hours Friday morning due to the investigation.

Bart Johnson 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 worked with the Pelham PD for four and a half years and worked with the Calera Police and University of Alabama Police before that. He would have turned 34 in January.

“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.