A Cottondale man is dead after he allegedly shot himself when Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Deputies began to investigate allegations of sex crimes made against him, the Thread has learned.

Captain Jack Kennedy, the commander of the multi-agency Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, confirmed that TCSO was called to a residence in Cottondale Monday evening after reports that a man behaved illegally with children who lived with him.

Kennedy said the VCU investigates all allegations of sexual assault within Tuscaloosa County, regardless of the age of the victim, and maintains a separate section of trained investigators who work those cases.

TCSO and the VCU responded to the address Monday night, and allegedly found the man in the backyard armed with a pistol.

Get our free mobile app

The Cottondale man reportedly began threatening suicide and indicated he wanted law enforcement to kill him. Kennedy said deputies contained but did not engage the man, and all civilians in the area were relocated for their safety, and eventually, a large police presence developed in a residential area of Cottondale.

A trained negotiator arrived on the scene and spoke to the man in the backyard for several hours, but Kennedy said the suspect refused to disarm and ultimately shot himself with his own firearm.

"No Sheriff’s Office personnel fired a weapon or used force against the suspect at any time," he said.

Despite on-scene assistance from TCSO paramedics, the man reportedly died at DCH Regional Medical Center a few hours after the incident.

Kennedy said the VCU will continue investigating what happened - they and the Alabama Department of Human Resources will keep working on the sexual abuse allegations.

The Children Center and other partners will provide support to the surviving family.

Kennedy said the VCU will also investigate all that led up to the man's death. Although they reportedly never engaged the suspect with force, Kennedy said TCSO staff will not be affiliated with the case because the sheriff's office was the responding agency.

Kennedy said the man will not be identified by name because he was not charged with any crime, because his death was self-inflicted and to protect the privacy of his survivors and alleged victims.

In an attempt to limit the spread of information that could potentially identify the victim or family, our reporting on the matter will likely be limited. This report is the result of a tip from a Tuscaloosa Thread reader, which are always welcome through our mobile app or stephen.dethrage@townsquaremedia.com

Top Stories from the Tuscaloosa Thread (6/19 - 6/26)

16 of the Top Stories published by the Tuscaloosa Thread during the week of June 19th, 2023.

More From Tuscaloosa Thread