Alabama plans to honor fallen police officer with Bryant-Denny Stadium light display
Dornell Cousette, a 40-year-old police officer who had served 13 years in the force, was shot and killed while chasing a wanted felon on Monday night in Tuscaloosa.
While nothing will help his family and close ones get over this senseless tragedy, the University of Alabama and Crimson Tide football are doing a little bit to put hopefully put a smile on those who knew Cousette.
From 8-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Bryant-Denny Stadium will be lit up in blue lights, honoring the fallen police officer.
— The Univ. of Alabama (@UofAlabama) September 18, 2019
“Heroes come in many different forms,” said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on Monday. “Tonight, one of our heroes has died in the line of duty.”
“Truly, Alabama has lost one of her heroes, Dornell Cousette,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey added.
According to AL.com:
Tuscaloosa Interim Police Chief Mitt Tubbs said the investigator had received a tip a suspect wanted on outstanding warrants for failure to appear on felony crimes was at the residence. When Cousette got to the home at 6:23 p.m., he saw the suspect on the front porch and the suspect ran inside.
Cousette followed and an exchange of gunfire ensued. Both Cousette and the unidentified suspect were wounded, Tubbs said. A bail bondsman at the home at the time of the shooting was not injured.
Cousette, shot in the facial area, was taken to DCH Regional Medical Center. He was pronounced dead a short time later. His body is being taken via police escort to Montgomery for an autopsy.
The 20-year-old suspect fled the home after the shooting and later showed up at the hospital in Northport, where he was taken into custody. He was previously arrested in 2017 on charges of robbery and assault. Failure to appear warrants and a bond forfeiture were issued against him on Aug. 21. He was transferred to UAB Hospital’s Trauma Center where he remained on Tuesday.
Especially poignant is this picture posted to Twitter by the Pelham Police Department of Cousette, standing beside the goal post in front of the tunnel where the Tide come onto the field.
This is Dornell Cousette. He was a @TuscaloosaPD officer, and he was murdered doing his job tonight. He had a fiancé and two children.
— Pelham Police Dept (@PelhamPoliceAL) September 17, 2019
The suspect, 20-year-old Luther Bernard Watkins Jr., has been charged with capital murder.