Man charged in connection with Papa Saia’s shooting

Helena, Pelham and Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents examine a suspect's vehicle after a shooting in the parking lot of Helena's Papa Saia's restaurant in April 2014. (File)

Helena, Pelham and Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents examine the suspect’s vehicle after a shooting in the parking lot of Helena’s Papa Saia’s restaurant in April 2014. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 26-year-old Helena man is facing charges of making terrorist threats and reckless endangerment in connection with an April 2014 shooting in the parking lot of a popular Helena restaurant.

A Shelby County grand jury during its January session returned a two-count indictment against Evan Taylor Burt, who lists an address on Laurel Woods Trace in Helena, according to court documents filed in Shelby County Circuit Court on Feb. 18.

The grand jury indicted Burt on one felony count of making terrorist threats and one misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.

Burt

Burt

Burt was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries after he was involved in the shooting in the parking lot of Helena’s Papa Saia’s restaurant at about 8:30 p.m. on April 19, 2014.

Helena Police Department Sgt. Chris Rollan said Helena and Pelham police officers responded to the scene after receiving reports of a man brandishing a handgun in the restaurant’s parking lot. On the night of the incident, Rollan said the man was involved in a possible domestic dispute leading to the incident at Papa Saia’s.

Rollan said officers on the scene ordered the suspect, who was within 100 feet of restaurant patrons, to drop the weapon. When the suspect refused to drop the weapon, Rollan said there was an “exchange of gunfire,” during which Burt suffered a single gunshot wound.

The shooting happened near the man’s black Honda CR-Z vehicle, which was still parked diagonally in one of the parking lot’s travel lanes a couple of hours after the incident. The vehicle was on the opposite side of the parking lot from the entrance to Papa Saia’s.

Pelham officers responded to the scene to help Helena officers after hearing reports of the incident on their police radios. Because the incident involved multiple law enforcement agencies and an officer-involved shooting, the investigation was handed over to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.

After the ABI concluded its investigation, it turned its findings over to the grand jury.

According to Burt’s indictment, his terrorist threat charge came after he allegedly made threats while pointing a gun at Rollan, Helena officers Richard Fox, Jeff Murphy and Michael Nelson and Pelham officers William Lowe, Shawn Taylor and Norman Bernard.

Burt’s reckless endangerment charge came after he allegedly “created a substantial risk of serious physical injury” to the officers.

Burt was booked into the Shelby County Jail on Feb. 16, and was released on bonds totaling $12,000 the same day. He is scheduled to appear at the Shelby County Courthouse on March 23 for arraignment.

Making terrorist threats is a Class C felony. If convicted, Burt could face up to 10 years in prison.