VCU: Man Killed by Tuscaloosa Police Was Wanted, Pulled Gun During Stop
A man fatally shot by police in Tuscaloosa Wednesday pulled a gun on police during a traffic stop, according to investigators.
Captain Jack Kennedy, a Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Deputy who commands the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, laid out the narrative of the shooting as investigators currently understand it in an email to local media outlets shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Kennedy said the VCU believes narcotics officers with TPD stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on 37th Street near its intersection with James I. Harrison Parkway.
There were several people inside the car, and someone in the back seat was reportedly found to have had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Kennedy said the VCU believes as the narcotics agents asked the man to get out of the car, an officer saw a gun in his waistband and ordered him to not touch the firearm.
The man reportedly reached for the gun anyway, and the officer began wrestling with him to prevent him from getting to the weapon.
"The suspect was able to remove the pistol and then refused commands to drop the firearm," Kennedy said. "One officer fired his weapon, and the suspect was struck several times. Medical and backup officers were called immediately and rendered aid, but the suspect was deceased."
"At this time the investigation is still ongoing," Kennedy said, "At the conclusion of the investigation the case will be evaluated by the District Attorney’s Office for presentation to a grand jury. The names of the officers will not be released."
Two officers are on leave after the shooting, which is standard protocol for TPD. Chief Brent Blankley said he is confident officers did what they needed to do to get home Wednesday.
UPDATE, Thursday 12:30 P.M.: Kennedy has identified the man who was killed as Tristan Decedric Clark, age 24. He is from Tuscaloosa.
For more on the shooting as it becomes available, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.
All Homicides Investigated So Far in Tuscaloosa County in 2023
Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)