Alabama man chases down wife, shoots, kills her
(WSFA.COM) JEMISON, Ala. – A 25-year-old man shot and killed his 24-year-old wife as she ran to a doctor’s office for help in Jemison on Monday morning, police confirm.
Police have identified the victim as Leaj Jarvis Price and her husband as Eric Heath Price.
The couple lived directly behind Dr. Jayprakash Patel’s internal medicine office, which is located in the 24000 block of Highway 31 near a Family Dollar, McDonalds and several banks.
The investigation shut down that part of Highway 31 and the nearby businesses for about four hours. Jemison and Thorsby schools were also locked down for several hours.
Jemison police said there was a domestic situation at the couple’s home and Leaj Price ran to the doctor’s office, which is about two blocks from the Jemison Police Department.
“First thing she said when she walked in was ‘Call police,’” Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer said in a press conference around 1:15 pm.
But her husband followed her to the doctor’s office, shot her with a small handgun and ran back to their home where he barricaded himself inside, Fulmer said.
A caller reported the shooting to 911 at 9:17 am. and Jemison police officers responded to Dr. Patel’s office.
Chief Fulmer confirmed early Monday evening that Leaj Price was shot inside the doctor’s office.
The suspect, who Fulmer confirmed was ex-military, barricaded himself in the home for several hours. A hostage negotiator spoke with the suspect for awhile, but then they lost contact.
The police chief also confirmed to media they had seen social media posts where the suspect spoke about dying today.
In an effort to get the suspect to come out, law enforcement officers deployed tear gas, which made a popping noise heard by several people near the scene.
Chief Fulmer said Eric Price shot himself in the head but survived. The shooter came out of the house after the tear gas was deployed and was taken into custody without incident in the front yard at 12:24 pm.
Fulmer said on Monday evening that Eric Price suffered non life-threatening injuries to his head but is in serious condition. Upon his release from the hospital, he will be transported to the Jefferson County Jail.
Fulmer said the couple has a six-year-old child who was not at the home at the time of the incident.
He said they confirmed with the child’s school to make sure the child was in class and not at the home. He believed family members had picked up the child from school.
Chilton County’s sheriff said the shooting was an isolated incident.
“Tragic thing, especially for the family. Our hearts and prayers go out to that family,” he said.
Jose Arreola, an eyewitness who owns the Chico’s Tire Shop across the street from Dr. Patel’s office, described what he saw:
“I was sitting outside the shop when I saw a girl running. She went to the doctor’s office trying to get help. But the guy behind her was carrying a gun. They tried to take the girl from him, but he took the gun out and shot the girl … The guy ran to a house, the house is not far from the doctor’s, probably like 100 feet from the doctor’s office,” Arreola said.
Chief Fulmer estimated that around 150 law enforcement officers responded to the situation, including authorities from the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office, Clanton Police Department, the District Attorney’s office and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
“From the time we got the call to the time he was in custody was an extraordinary performance of police work by these guys,” Fulmer said.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the deceased’s family. The investigation will be ongoing for quite some time,” the police chief added.