The Department of Forensic Sciences performed an autopsy on Russell Mallette. According to Autopsy results Mallette sustained 2 gunshot wounds. Neither of the gunshots wounds were life treating.
The cause of death was blunt force trauma received from the fall. The investigation is ongoing and includes reviewing video footage from witnesses as well as dash cameras and body cameras worn by the officers involved.
A man either fell or jumped to his death Monday morning, September 9, 2019 in Gulf Shores. Police said he first ran from them at a traffic stop and then shot at officers. It happened at Ocean House II Condominium about 4:00 a.m.
Investigators said the suspect got in a fight with an officer who’d given chase on foot. Investigators believed he then shot at the officer with the officer’s own gun before backup officers arrived and fired back.
No officers were injured in the incident. Investigators said the suspect fired first on the pursuing officer and was then shot at by two responding Gulf Shores Police officers before falling from the eighth or ninth floor balcony. Police identified the suspect as 38-year-old Russell Lyons Mallet II.
Police said Mallett was pulled over for speeding on West Beach Boulevard shortly before 4:00 a.m. That stop led to the beginning phases of a DUI investigation. Police said Mallett sped away from the scene, pulling into the condo parking lot a few blocks away.
“The original officer followed him into the building and ultimately located him on the fifth floor near the elevator,” Sgt. Jason Woodruff with Gulf Shores Police said. “At that time, what I would categorize as an attack occurred. The suspect attacked the officer and a fight ensued.”
It was during the fight that officers responding as back-up witnessed Mallette shoot at the pursuing officer.
“Mr. Mallette obtained a gun and did fire several rounds at officers,” Baldwin County District Attorney, Bob Wilters said.
When asked by Fox 10 News if Mallette obtained the gun off the officer, Wilters responded, “That’s what we believe.”
Those staying in nearby condominiums woke to the gunfire.
“I heard the shots. It was …3:57 this morning…and I said, ‘Did you hear that?’ He said, ‘No, just fireworks,’ so we went back to sleep,” Mary and H.C. Crow recalled.
Police said back-up officers witnessed Mallett shoot at their fellow officer and at that point, they fired back. It’s not known if Mallette was shot. Investigators said Mallett then retreated up through the stairwell and out of sight of police.
“They had lost contact with him for a short time so at that point, the officers were working on setting up a perimeter and making sure that residents and citizens that were staying there were back in their rooms, that sort of thing when the suspect ultimately went over the balcony on the eighth or ninth floor,” Sgt. Woodruff said.
Because it happened so early in the morning, police said there were only a couple innocent bystanders they had to ask to go back in their rooms. The three officers involved are on administrative leave while an investigation into the incident is conducted.
Baldwin County District Attorney, Bob Wilters said they won’t know if Mallett was hit by gunfire until an autopsy is finished. The case will be presented to a Grand Jury.