Sheriff's Department identifies shooter as Thomas Alonza Parker, 43
Claire AielloWeb Content Manager
2:29 PM CDT, April 1, 2010
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HUNTSVILLE, AL - Investigators confirm police shot and killed a man after he led them on a chase from northern Madison County all the way to south Huntsville. It happened Thursday morning, and went through rush hour traffic. Three people were shot in all: the man who led authorities on a chase, his estranged wife, and her son.
The Madison County Sheriff's Department says the man was Thomas Alonza Parker, 43. He is dead. The Sheriff's Department did not release the name of the woman or her son. She is 43 years old, and her son is 23. Both are at Huntsville Hospital recovering from gunshot wounds, and are expected to recover.
The situation started this morning in Meridianville, at 109 Fox Run Drive. Chad Brooks, Chief Investigator for the Sheriff's Department, said the woman was dropping off her son at the home, which is a construction site. Parker apparently followed the two there and shot his stepson several times.
Brooks said Parker then forced his wife into his truck and drove away.
Even though the stepson had been shot, he was responsive when help arrived. He also told neighbors who rushed to the home that his stepfather was violent and was likely going to hurt his mother. They called 911 to report the truck, and at about the same time, the woman inside the truck also called 911 from her cell phone, leaving it on during most of the chase. She called out landmarks and street names, which allowed dispatchers to get more deputies and Huntsville police officers involved in the chase.
"It was absolutely essential. What she did was a big asset in saving her life," said Brooks. "We disseminated as much information as we could about the vehicle they were in and who was driving, and the last known direction of travel. Her actions and the cell phone call absolutely put us to the area they were in."
Alabama State Troopers also joined in the chase, following Parker on a high-speed chase through much of the city. It went along Highway 72 to Dug Hill Road, then along Dug Hill, onto Highway 431 into Hampton Cove, and then into south Huntsville.
Many WHNT NEWS 19 viewers also said they saw police cars stream up Bailey Cove Road, as they rushed to put down spike strips at the base of Green Cove Road, at the entrance to the Camelot subdivision.
Owens Cross Roads Police also joined in the chase.
At some points, police turned on their flashing lights during the high-speed chase. However, we're told the man allegedly pointed a gun at the woman's head several times, and the woman asked police to back off.
The chase ended just after 8:00 a.m. on Green Mountain, at South Shawdee Road and Riverview Drive. Police say at that point, Parker shot the woman in her left rear shoulder as she tried to jump out of the truck. He then drove about a mile away, where police caught up with him. Investigators say Parker fired at officers and they fired back, killing him.
Investigator Brooks said an Owens Cross Roads police officer fired the fatal shot. He said the officer is receiving counseling.
Parker and his wife had been separated for two weeks, after being married for two years.
Brooks said the two had a history of domestic problems, but that the Sheriff's Department had never arrested Parker.
Watch full reports on this story Thursday on WHNT NEWS 19 at 5:00 and 6:00.
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