01/15/2004

Ala. Officer, 26, Fatally Shot in Training Exercise

Officer Down: Clinton Earl Walker - [Prattville, Alabama]

The Associated Press

WETUMPKA, Ala. (AP) -- A Prattville, Ala. police officer was fatally shot by a fellow officer at a training exercise in downtown Wetumpka.

Clinton Earl Walker, 26, was shot in the abdomen at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the rear parking lot of the old post office. He died at 6:26 p.m. Wednesday at Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, Prattville Police Chief Alfred Wadsworth said.

Walker had been on the police force for three years.

Wadsworth and Prattville Mayor Jim Byard declined to identify the officer who fired the shot during the training exercise. The Wetumpka Police Department is to investigating the shooting.

Officials said police had used plastic guns during the training exercise, but the officer who fired the fatal shot had begun carrying his regular pistol after the exercise ended.

"It's a very dark day for the city of Prattville," the mayor said.

The shooting occurred across the street from the Elmore County Courthouse and resulted in the courthouse being locked down temporarily. Voter registrar Nancy Taylor said, "I wasn't scared because it wasn't long before security let us know what was going on. They were trying to keep us from going outside until we knew what was going on. It's so sad."

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