HUNTSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
815 Wheeler Ave.
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Rex Reynolds Wendell Johnson
Chief of Police Public Affairs Administrator
(256) 427-7001 (256) 427-7043
Special Operations North Precinct West Precinct South Precinct
(256) 427-7157 (256) 746-4111 (256) 427-5461 (256) 213-4503
Police Officers’ Use of Deadly Force “In Policy”
Huntsville, Alabama (December 21, 2006) On December 19, 2006, the Huntsville Police Department conducted an Administrative Review of the Police Officers involved in the shootings of Mario Ayala and Oscar Rodriquez. The incident occurred on December 3, 2006, at the LaBomba Restaurant and Lounge located on Governor’s Drive.
Police spokesman Wendell Johnson said the Incident Review Board consisted of HPD Commanders and supervisors, representatives from the City’s Legal Department, and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office. The board heard testimony from the Officers involved, Investigators from the Major Crimes Unit, Internal Affairs Unit and civilian witnesses present during the shooting. Also present to hear testimony was Chief Rex Reynolds, Police Academy Training staff, and a representative from the staff of Fees and Burgess Law Firm.
According to Johnson, the Incident Review Board, headed by Captain Andy Jackson, concluded that the actions of both officers were in accordance with established policies and procedures. It was determined that the actions of the driver, Mario Ayala, led to his own death and to the death of the passenger, Oscar Rodriquez. The Board unanimously finds the use of deadly force was “In Policy.” Evidence reflected that one officer fired eight rounds, and the second officer fired two rounds during the incident. A witness testified that the vehicle actually struck one of the officers twice before they responded with deadly force to stop the attack.
After hearing testimony, and reviewing the Board’s conclusion, Chief Reynolds concurs with the Board’s findings and has returned the officers to full duty status. Reynolds said, “I support the officers’ actions, and commend them for facing a dangerous situation without regard to their own safety to protect the public.” He added, “Our officers were at this location because the Club’s staff called them, when the driver of the vehicle began his violent and aggressive driving which put the club’s staff in danger as well as the two responding officers.”
Johnson said Chief Reynolds will now forward the case to the Madison County District Attorney’s office for review and presentation before a grand jury.