By Alton Mitchell
What started as a high speed police pursuit on a street in an East Alabama city on Sunday evening turned into an officer-involved shooting that left one man dead and a police officer on administrative leave. The shooting is the second law enforcement related shooting in East Alabama in less than a month.
On Sunday shortly before 5:00 p.m. Phenix City police officers were in pursuit of a vehicle near the downtown area of the city. At some point an officer fired several rounds from their firearm at the fleeing vehicle along 11th Avenue near a popular Phenix City eatery. The vehicle continued on 11th Avenue and eventually crossed 13th Street. The vehicle crashed into some vehicles belonging to a fleet at a local car dealership.
The vehicle was being driven by 27-year-old Cedric Jamal Mifflin of Columbus, Ga. Mifflin was struck by bullets from the officer’s gun. There has been no official word on how many times the weapon was fired or how many times Mifflin was shot. The Coroner’s Office has confirmed that Mifflin died of multiple gunshot wounds. His body was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for an autopsy.
On Monday morning Chief Ray Smith of the Phenix City Police Department held a press conference and advised the investigation into the shooting had been turned over to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agencies State Bureau of Investigation. Chief Smith also advised the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the SBI’s investigation.
Chief Smith stated that this type of incident is a rarity in Phenix City and the last time there was a fatal shooting by police in the city was about four or five years ago. Records show the last fatal shooting by Phenix City police occurred in December of 2013. Police were responding to a robbery on 16th Avenue in the city when two men attempted to flee one was identified as 33-year-old Cimarron Lamb of Phenix City. He was fatally shot by Phenix City officers. A second man was arrested in connection to the incident.
The shooting of Lamb was the last fatal shooting in the city of nearly 40,000 residents by law enforcement officers prior to Sunday’s incident. The last shooting by police in the city came in August of 2015 when Officer Pamela Cook shot Brandon Stinson while he fled officers during a traffic stop in the city. Officer Cook was cleared during an investigation and Stinson survived his injuries.
The shooting of Mifflin comes just weeks after and April 19th shooting on U.S. Highway 80 near the Brownsville community of Macon County. During that incident an officer with the Macon County Sheriff’s Department shot and injured an individual. That individual did survive the injury.