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The father of an airman shot by an Opelika police officer says his son suffered serious injuries to his stomach and colon and may never fully recover from his injuries.
Billy Davidson said his son, 20-year-old Michael Darrett Davidson of Beckville, Texas, was driving on Interstate 85 on his way to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base near Goldsboro, N.C., when the shooting happened shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is probing the shooting that involved Opelika Officer Phillip Hancock, a seven-year veteran with the department. Hancock, who wasn’t injured, has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Billy Davison tells The Opelika-Auburn News that his son was moved from the ICU at East Alabama Medical Center Monday afternoon.
Michael Davison was heading north on the interstate in a 2004 GMC Envoy and was attempting to move from the outside lane to the inside lane when he struck an 18-wheeler with the driver’s side mirror, according to an accident report.
Billy Davidson said his son exited the vehicle and went to check on the driver of the 18-wheeler.
“He said he didn’t get that far,” Billy Davidson said. “.When (he was walking) to the truck, he said he heard something but couldn’t tell what it was. There was a lot of noise, but (he) could see the reflection of the lights off the truck - the police lights. Then he did what I told him to do. I told my boys if you see police lights (to) stop, put your hands up and turn around.”
Michael held his arms up, with only a wallet in one of his hands, his father said.
Then, according to what Michael told his father, “The next thing I know I was on the ground. That’s when they shot me. I didn’t realize he shot me. I didn’t know what happened. It was so fast. They couldn’t have been there three or four seconds when I was shot.”
Police have released few details about the encounter.
Hancock’s in-car camera was on during the incident, authorities said. The footage hasn’t been made public.
Opelika Police Chief John McEachern said he hopes to have a news conference by early next week to discuss the case.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to answer more questions then,” he said Monday evening. “Our prayers are with the victim and his family, without a doubt.”