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District Attorney wounded, gunman killed in downtown shooting

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Greg Griggers was wounded Thursday afternoon when a gunman shot into his vehicle parked outside his office in downtown Demopolis. Law enforcement officials at the scene returned fire and killed the suspect.

17th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Greg Griggers

According to law enforcement officials, at approximately 1 p.m., Griggers was returning to his office from lunch when a gunman, identified as Steven Smith Jr., a former state trooper, opened fire on his vehicle. State Bureau of Investigation Capt. Jason Roberts described the incident as an “ambush-style” shooting.

Officials said Griggers’ injuries were minor and that he was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released as of 4:30 p.m.

After Smith fired on Griggers’ vehicle, law enforcement officials in the area returned fire on Smith who was shot and pronounced dead at the scene, according to Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese. “The district attorney has officers around him all the time, in this case they were coming back from having lunch together,” Reese said.

Demopolis Police Chief Tommie Reese, along with SBI Capt. Jason Roberts, right, speaks with the media during a press conference near the crime scene.

Roberts said Smith was hired as a state trooper in 1982 and was fired in 1996, adding that investigators are still looking into Smith’s past.

“We are shocked that something like this could happen in Demopolis, we don’t know the motive, but it could have happened anywhere,” Reese said.

Chief Reese encouraged the public to keep the Griggers family and those at the district attorney’s office in their thoughts and prayers.

“I’ve known [Griggers] for 20 years or more; he is a great friend and a great prosecutor. The job he does brings about some enemies, but in our community, and across our circuit, he is well liked and well respected,” Reese said.

Anyone who witnessed or may have information on the shooting is encouraged to call the Demopolis Police Department at 334-289-1475 or the State Bureau of Investigation at  1-800-392-8011.

— Teresa Boykin contributed to this report.