The Mobile County Sheriff's Office has named the man armed with a hammer who was shot and killed by an MCSO deputy Thursday at the Semmes Walmart.
MCSO identified the man as 34-year-old Bernie Wade Johnson.
MCSO officials said on Thursday that the suspect had threatened the deputy with the hammer. The deputy was responding to a reported theft at the Walmart store on Moffett Road just before 1 p.m. when he encountered Johnson, according to the sheriff's office.
The sheriff's office on Friday released the following:
At the time of the call, a MCSO Deputy was in the parking lot of Walmart and responded. The Deputy encountered the suspect as he exited the store, however, he refused to comply to the demands of the deputy. The Deputy then deployed his taser striking the suspect. The suspect continued to aggressively approach the deputy with a clawhammer. Witnesses on the scene stated the Deputy demanded for him to drop the weapon several times but the suspect refused and stated, “I’m going to kill you or you’re going to kill me”. After several attempts to get the suspect to drop his weapon, the Deputy fired his gun striking the suspect and he died on the scene.
MCSO Capt. Paul Burch told FOX10 News on Thursday the deputy will be on paid leave during an internal investigation.
"A claw hammer is a deadly weapon, and we’re trained to address deadly force with deadly force," Burch said.