10/26/2006

Third suspect arrested in Ala. officer's shooting

The Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- Police acting on a tip captured a third and final suspect Tuesday in the fatal shooting of a Fairfield policewoman who was gunned down after she interrupted an apparent burglary.

Demetrius Avery Jackson Jr., 21, of Jefferson County was arrested at an apartment around 11:30 a.m., or about 16 1/2 hours after two other suspects were taken into custody.

Fairfield Police Chief Patrick W. Mardis Sr. said investigators believed all three men were involved and would likely be charged in the killing of Officer Mary Smith, 48, and the wounding of another officer.

Jackson was believed to be the triggerman and will be charged with capital murder, Mardis said.

Smith was fatally shot on Monday while answering a call in Fairfield, located just west of Birmingham. Investigators believe the men were committing a burglary when she surprised them, Mardis said.

"Mary had detained the two men, and the third suspect came up from behind her and fired the shot," Mardis said.

Smithjoined the Fairfield police two months ago after retiring from the police force in Birmingham, where Police Chief Annetta Nunn promised support for the officer's only child, college student RaSheka Smith, 22.

"We are with her, so she will never be alone," Nunn said.

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