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An Alabama police officer was shot and killed in his home in what investigators said was a domestic incident. Andrew Wade ‘Andy’ Kimbrel, 42, has been a police officer for nearly two decades.
Gardendale police found the officer suffering from a gunshot wound when they arrived at his apartment in response to a 911 call just before 11 p.m. Thursday. He was rushed to a local emergency room but died not long after.
Kimbrel was a police officer in Vestavia Hills, north of Gardendale and Birmingham.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kimbrel Was Gunned Down in His Home During a Domestic Incident. Police Have Yet to Identify the Suspect
At a press conference Friday morning, Gardendale Police Chief Mike Walker said that at 10:57 p.m. Thursday night, a 911 call was received and police were on the scene within 5 minutes. They responded to a home at the Woodbrook Apartments complex and there discovered a 42-year old white male with a gunshot wound. He was transported to the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital’s emergency room. In the early hours of Friday morning, he was pronounced dead. Police learned that the man was Vestavia Hills Police Department officer Andy Kimbrel.
Walker said it was a domestic incident that led to the shooting and that his department has an active homicide investigation under way. He said any new developments would be posted to his department’s Facebook page. But added “we may be able to announce” later today a suspect.
2. Vestavaia Hills Police Identified Kimbrel & Said he Was ‘Loved’ by Fellow Officers & the Community
Department public information officer Capt. Johnny Evans announced that Kimbrel was their officer shot and killed. Evans said Kimbrel was beloved by fellow officers and the community. He said that funeral arrangements were pending. He did not discuss the Gardendale police investigation into Kimbrel’s murder.
On a police Facebook page, Kimbrel’s mother said the nature of the domestic doesn’t matter.
“I am his mother,” wrote Renda Otis Kimbrel.
“It doesn’t matter what type of domestic. My son is dead and that is all that matters.”
3. Kimbrel, a Crisis & Hostage Negotiator, Among Myriad Other Law Enforcement Specialized Training, Had Been a Police Officer Since 2001
According to his LinkedIn, Kimbrel had been with the Vestavia Hills Police Department since 2002. Previously he’d been an officer with the Fairfield Police Department and the Blocton Police Department as a reserve officer. Kimbrel had been trained in Advanced Rapid Response to Terrorism/Active Shooter incidents, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Crisis/Hostage Negotiations, a Certified Crime Scene investigator and studied Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing. He was a Fire Investigator and graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy in Tuscaloosa in 2001.
His list of law enforcement and homeland security knowledge and skills runs into the dozens.
4. Kimbrel Was Married Since 2017 to Stephanie Keller & the Couple Have 2 Children, Both From Prior Marriages
Kimbrel married Stephanie Keller in December of 2017. The couple shared many photographs of themselves and their blended family. Each had a child when they married, both around the same age; Keller a son and Kimbrel a daughter.
Stephanie Keller is a medical review associate at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, according to her LinkedIn page.
Originally from Michigan where she graduated from Baker College of Flint, Keller had posted recently that she was prepared for a court battle, though it’s not clear to what she was referring.
5. Vestavia Hills Police Mourn Kimbrel as an Outpouring of Condolences and Support Comes From the Community
“This breaks my heart! I went to school with Andy. He was one of the good guys!,” wrote Kim Woodhall.
Most of the sentiments on media and police Facebook pages shared prayers and condolences for the family.
Here’s the full VHPD statement:
“On May 3, 2019 the Vestavia Hills Police Department lost one of our own. ANDREW WADE KIMBREL, 42 of Gardendale, Alabama lost his life during a domestic incident at his residence. ANDY has served the City of Vestavia Hills since October of 2002 and he previously served with the Fairfield Police Department. During his service with Vestavia Hills Police Department Andy served as a patrol officer, school resource officer and evidence technician.
ANDY was loved by his fellow officers and the community in which he chose to protect.
The Vestavia Police Department extends our gratitude to the community for their outpouring of support during this difficult time.
We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Gardendale Police Department for their professional courtesy.
We extend our deepest sympathies to Andy’s family and friends.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.”