Birmingham AL January 27 2020
An off-duty officer, Birmingham Police Department narcotics Detective was shot while working as a church security officer.
John Finke, was shot Sunday morning and is said to be in critical condition, currently fighting for his life in the ICU following emergency surgery.
Detective Finke was working as security at Church of the Highlands. Around 9am this morning, a call of a robbery came in near his location.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said Detective Finke “may have observed the robbery in progress.”
Chief Smith said that Detective Finke “was able to give a description of the suspect, clothing description and things of that nature.”
Detective Finke called a code 1033 on the radio, which there means “officer needs all possible assistance.”
Detective Finke confronted the suspects alone and at the point one of the suspects shot him.
The detective was hit twice in the stomach and once under the arm, however the injury under the arm was discovered to be a ricochet rather than a direct hit.
It’s been reported that Detective Finke returned fire, but it doesn’t appear as if either of the suspects were hit.
A lengthy manhunt ensued, where police locked down the area while going door to door to track down witnesses.
Eventually two suspects were taken into custody in the parking lot of a nearby Winn Dixie.
Officers were able to locate them by tracking the cell phones they stole during the robbery.
Both suspects are in custody currently. Both are male; one is 16 years old, one is 25-years-old.
At least one handgun was recovered from the suspects at that time as well.
The accused shooter is the 16-year-old suspect.
The victims of the robbery positively identified the above men as the robbery suspects.
The recovered handgun also matches the caliber that Detective Finke was shot with, based on the shell casings discovered at the scene.
Detective Finke was taken to the hospital. He was not wearing a bullet proof vest. Reports say that he was in uniform, but it’s unclear whether that is his police uniform or a security guard uniform for the church.
Chief Smith said the detective was hit in “vital organ areas.” He has already undergone one surgery Sunday morning. Doctors are concerned about the amount of blood lost during the incident.