AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A heroic rescue over the weekend casts the spotlight on the Auburn First Responders who risked their lives to save others during a police standoff with an armed suspect who had already fired at police. Auburn’s Chief of Police Cedric Anderson, Shift Supervisor Lieutenant Cody Hill, and Auburn Firefighter Andrew Kiser used a ladder to rescue several family members during a standoff Sunday night with an armed suspect.
The incident began Sunday, July 15th, around 7:00 PM, when police responded to Wedgewood Court for a domestic violence call. Investigators say as Auburn officers approached the home, a man armed with a handgun fired at police, who returned fire. The suspect retreated into the house and refused to come out. Investigators soon learned family members were trapped upstairs.
“I can’t describe how much compassion I saw on scene and how many acts of courage I saw out there as well, not only by first responders but by the citizenry. We live in a great community, ” said Assistant Police Chief Clarence Stewart.
Chief Anderson held the ladder as Lt. Hill climbed up to the window, with Firefighter Kiser helping the family members escape by climbing out the window and down the ladder.
“It was a great team effort, on everybody’s behalf. If it were not for Auburn Fire having that ladder, it would have made it more difficult for us to be able to extract those family members from that second-story window,” said Stewart.
When the rest of the family was safe, Lee County SWAT entered the home, located the suspect, who was suffering from a gunshot wound. The suspect was flown to Baptist South in Montgomery, where he is in stable condition.
News 3 is awaiting information from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency for the suspect’s name and charges.
Domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous calls law enforcement officers receive. The Auburn Police Department knows this all too well. In May of 2019, Auburn Officer William Buechner was shot and killed while responding to a domestic call. Officers Webb Sisrunk and Evan Elliot were also injured in the shooting and thankfully recovered. A suspect was arrested in the case. The Alabama law that makes the slaying of a first responder a capital offense carries the name of William Buechner.