Huntsville, AL – Huntsville Police Department (HPD) Officer Garrett Crumby was murdered in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Tuesday night.
The incident began at approximately 4:45 p.m. on March 28, when a woman called 911 to report she had been shot at an apartment building located in the 4600-block of Governors House Drive, CNN reported.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that 36-year-old Officer Crumby and 34-year-old fellow HPD Officer Albert Morin were first to arrive at the scene.
Marshall said the two officers were “ambushed” by a male shooter when they arrived at the residence, CNN reported.
The gunman was allegedly the same suspect who had shot the female 911 caller.
Police said the suspect “barricaded himself inside an apartment” after the attack, ABC News reported.
The wounded officers were rushed to Huntsville Hospital, where one officer succumbed to his injuries, the HPD confirmed in a press release.
Marshall identified the slain hero as Officer Crumby, a three-year veteran of the HPD, CNN reported.
Officer Morin underwent surgery and remained in critical condition late Wednesday morning, according to WVTM.
The woman who was shot prior to the officers’ arrival was transported to the hospital in unknown condition, police said.
The gunman was apprehended at approximately 6:20 p.m., ABC News reported.
He was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the HPD.
The alleged shooter has since been identified as 24-year-old Juan Robert Laws, FOX News reported.
Laws has been charged with capital murder of a police officer in connection with Officer Crumby’s death.
According to court records, the alleged cop-killer pleaded guilty just last week to a 2022 offense of carrying a pistol without a license, The Birmingham News reported.
Another 2022 case involving the shooting of two victims is still pending.
Laws waived his preliminary hearing on two counts of second-degree assault in that matter, and the case was ordered last month to go before a grand jury for indictment consideration, The Birmingham News reported.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal ambush.
“Tonight, our state grieves the death of another member of the law enforcement community — one who, when called upon, ran toward danger in aide of a female victim and her two small children,” Marshall said on Tuesday night.
HPD Chief Kirk Giles said the horrific attack has left the entire state in mourning.
“This is a devastating loss for [our] department, the Huntsville community and the State of Alabama,” HPD Chief Kirk Giles said in the press release. “We send our heartfelt condolences to the officer’s family as they mourn their loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice. As we grieve with our fallen officer’s family, we have another officer fighting for his life. Please keep all our officers and the entire department in your prayers.”
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle also released a statement on Tuesday night.
“This is a painful night for the City of Huntsville and for our police family,” Battle said. “We are heartbroken. Words cannot express our loss. We have been overwhelmed by the show of love and support from our community, and we stand united with our police officers and their families in this tragic moment.”
Officer Crumby’s body will be transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville, where an autopsy is expected to be held on Wednesday, CNN reported.
The slain hero served eight years with the Tuscaloosa Police Department (TPD) prior to joining the HPD three years ago, according to FOX News.
“Our part of the country has been reminded again this week of the pure heroism of those who make up the thin blue line—the dividing line, at times, between life and death for the citizens that they swear an oath to protect,” Marshall said. “These two law enforcement officers responded to a domestic violence call this evening, knowing full well that they would be placing their lives on the line in defense of their fellow man. We must never take their service and sacrifice for granted.”
Officer Crumby’s widow, Taylor Crumby, said in a Facebook post that her husband “died a true hero, in every sense of the word.”
His mother, Jan Sherman, said her son “was born to be in public service,” WVTM reported.
“It was Garrett’s dream as a little boy to give back,” Sherman said. “Garrett was a volunteer firefighter with the Duncanville Fire Department before he turned to police work. He was a gentle soul, the kind of police officer other officers wanted to be.”
In addition to his wife and mother, Officer Crumby also leaves behind his father and three sisters, WVTM reported.
The hearts of the Huntsville Police family are heavy following the loss of Huntsville Police Officer Garrett Crumby, 36, who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting his community. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/YLpXfCDGW8
— Huntsville Police (@HsvPolice) March 29, 2023
🔹 Blessed Are The Peacemakers 🔹
Police Officer Garrett Crumby
Huntsville Police Department, Alabama
EOW: Tuesday, March 28, 2023#EnoughIsEnough #OfficerDown #EOW #ThinBlueLine pic.twitter.com/jqfLzEYDox
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) March 29, 2023
RIP. Alabama Police Officer Garrett Crumby was murdered when he was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. STOP SHOOTING MY POLICE OFFICERS!!! #rip #hero #eow #murdered #PoliceOfficerGarrettCrumby #HuntsvillePoliceDepartment #thinblueline #bluelivesmatter pic.twitter.com/s6QOEpsMPN
— Protecting the Blue (@protectingblue) March 29, 2023
Flowers are laying at the base of the Fallen Officer memorial outside of @HsvPolice headquarters today, following the death of Officer Garrett Crumby in the line of duty. @whnt pic.twitter.com/JLtxKrSqfW
— Emily Moessner (@EmilyMoessner) March 29, 2023
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Huntsville Police Department Officer Garrett Crumby, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Garrett Crumby, your life mattered.