Troy Officer cleared for shooting

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Pike County Grand Jury in June said Troy Police officer Tim Ward was within the bounds of the law when he shot a man during course of burglary investigation last December.

The shooting took place on Dec. 18, 2014, when officers responded to reports of a home invasion and armed robbery in progress at the Easy Street Apartments on George Wallace Drive.

Officers observed suspects fleeing the residence, and in the process of attempting to stop the suspects Ward shot Dundray Dunford in the leg.

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Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation of the incident and the facts surrounding the use of force. ALEA determined that the shooting of Dunford, who was armed with an SKS assault rifle and failed to disarm after being repeatedly order to do so by Ward, was lawful.

Troy Police Chief Jimmy Ennis said he appreciated the hard work and dedication of ALEA, SBI and the District Attorney’s office during the investigation.

“I am glad that the officer was justified in his duties,” Ennis said. “Every day police officers all across this country face those types of situations, and they have to react. No officer goes to work and wants to use deadly force on the job. These officers go to work every day praying that they never have to use deadly force.”

Ennis said officers trained diligently should an incident arise where an officer may have to use his firearm.

“Situations like this are why we train so diligently and so often,” Ennis said. “That’s why training is so important and on this particular occasion, a higher level of training paid off. We are glad with the results of this investigation.”

Dunford, 20, Brundidge; Dewayne A. Dunford, 32, Montgomery; Johnta L. Briggs, 30, Dothan and Dajuan D. Franklin, 18, Dothan, were arrested at the scene. Each was charged with three counts of robbery first degree and one count of burglary first degree.

Reports show that the last TPD officer-involved shooting was on Dec. 9, 1988, when officers shot and killed Sidney James Byrd during a domestic disturbance call. Byrd had attacked his estranged wife Carolyn Diane Byrd at her residence on Elba Highway. Officer attempted to subdue Sidney Byrd, but he resisted and continued his attack. An officer fired two warning shots, then shot and killed Sidney Byrd after he failed to heed the warnings. A grand jury declared the shooting justifiable.