published Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Jackson County officials awaiting autopsy of Section, Ala., shootout victim

Jackson County, Ala., authorities are awaiting autopsy results and a determination by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation after a Jan. 29 police shootout that claimed the life of a man from the town of Section.

"As far as I know, we haven't gotten any official word on the autopsy," said Jackson County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen, of the office in Scottsboro.

Harnen said the only issue authorities can confirm so far is that Gregory died of a gunshot wound.

A toxicology report is pending and could take some time, he said. Harnen said the last two toxicology reports the county requested -- sought in drowning incidents -- each were expected to take six months to a year.

Alabama Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Robyn Litchfield confirmed the state still is investigating the fatal shooting of 31-year-old County Road 48 resident Jeremy Daniel Gregory.

"It is ongoing, and nothing further is available," Litchfield said Monday.

Gregory was found dead after he traded gunfire with Madison County Sheriff's Office SWAT team members around daybreak on Jan. 29 in a standoff at his home, according to officials.

Madison County's SWAT team had been called after Jackson County deputies responded to a shots-fired call at the same address, and members wound up in an hours-long stalemate, officials said.

More Jackson County officers arrived to try and coax Gregory out of the house, but they had no success.

Jackson County officials then asked for help from Madison County's SWAT team, Sheriff Chuck Phillips said at the time of the incident.

Phillips said Madison County officers tried to end the standoff with tear gas, but Gregory started shooting, which led to an exchange of gunfire with the Madison County officers.

While the state probe is still pending, Madison County authorities say an internal examination of the incident shows officers acted appropriately.

"As far as our departmental policy and the actions the guys took, it was considered [within] policy," Madison County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Brian Chaffin said Monday.

The Madison County officers returned to duty after the review on Feb. 5, Chaffin said.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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