Suspect identified in shooting of SCSO deputies
Published 2:54 pm Thursday, March 23, 2023
By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer
The suspect in a shooting that left two Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies inured on Wednesday, March 22 has been identified by the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
John Russell Thomason, 31, is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail on two charges of attempted murder/assault on a police officer with a gun and one charge of criminal trespassing first degree. He is currently being held on bonds totaling $1.02 million.
Thomas was arrested after he allegedly shot two deputies responding to a welfare check at 3100 block of Bradford Place in the Meadowbrook neighborhood near Valleydale Road and U.S. 280.
“We had a very unfortunate incident that occurred here,” Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said. “We received a call from a homeowner who was out of town requesting us to check their house due to one of their grown children they thought might be in town and breaking into their house.”
The SCSO responded to the call and went to the house on the 3100 block of Bradford Place and found the back door broken into. They then got permission from the homeowners to enter the house and then entered to clear the home.
“When they got to the upstairs area of the house, they made contact with somebody in a bathroom,” Samaniego said. “They were conversing with them trying to get them to come out. At that point, without warning, they fired upon deputies, hitting two deputies. At that point, the other two deputies got those deputies to safety and then maintained the position and negotiated with the individual until he put the gun down and gave up.”
The suspect was detained, and there was no other threat to the public.
Both deputies were transported to UAB Hospital and one of the deputies quickly went into surgery. Samaniego said the injuries were serious but non-life threatening.
“Immediate prognosis is both of them will be fine,” Samaniego said. “We can only hope and pray for that. This is a CEO of a law enforcement agency’s worst nightmare.”
One of the deputies did return fire during the incident, so the Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force led by the District Attorney’s Office and District Attorney Matt Casey as well as the Alabaster and Pelham police departments have taken over the investigation. The shot from the deputy did not injure the suspect.
“I’m thankful, first and foremost, that our deputies are going to be alright,” said District Attorney Matt Casey. “This is a stark reminder of the dangers that our law enforcement officers face each and every day. Our office will continue to work in coordination with the Shelby County Major Crimes Task Force to pursue justice in this case.”
If convicted, Thomason will face a range of punishment of anywhere from ten years of imprisonment to life in prison for each count of Attempted Murder, and up to one year in the county jail for Criminal Trespass. While investigation and prosecution proceed, further information will be limited. As with all crimes, the Defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty