Suspect in officer’s death also wanted in Troy

Published 1:44 pm Saturday, August 27, 2011

The man charged with capital murder this week in the shooting death of an Anniston police officer also is wanted for assaulting an officer in Troy.

Joshua Eugene Russell, 25, of Anniston, is accused of shooting Officer Justin Sollohub in the head during a foot chase on Wednesday. Sollohub died on Thursday.

Russell was taken into custody after a massive manhunt in Anniston and that is when officers in Troy learned of the connection.

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“We had obtained warrants against him on charges of assault second degree and giving false information to a police officer,” said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough of the Troy Police Department. The warrants stemmed from a May 24 incident that took place near the intersection of Orange Street and North Three Notch Street.

“That was around the time of the break-ins in the Orange Street area,” Scarbrough said. “Our officers noticed two individuals, one black male and one white male, they didn’t recognize. They were going to do a field identification and that’s when they first had contact with Russell.”

Scarbrough said Russell initially gave officers a false identification during the process, telling them he had no ID cards in his possession. Officers discovered he was carrying a knife and one of the officers on the scene noticed “what looked like the corner of an ID card or Alabama driver’s license sticking out of his pocket,” Scarbrough said. “They retrieved the card and that’s when they learned his true identity.”

“Once they realized he had lied to him, they attempted to arrest him for giving false information to a police officer.”

In the process of that arrest, Russell “took a swing at one of the officers, hitting him in the face with his hand,” Scarbrough said. “He then fled the scene.”

Officers sought for Russell unsuccessfully after the incident and had entered the outstanding warrants into the NCIC national crime database. That’s what prompted the notification when Russell was arrested in Anniston.

While the charges remain pending in Troy, Scarbrough said the Anniston case likely will take precedence. “Justice has to be served, for officers just like for everyone else,” he said.