On July 4, 2022, at approximately 7:50 pm, Officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of Washington St. to provide medical assistance to a person injured by fireworks. Acknowledging the potential that law enforcement could meet resistance from unruly young adults in the area with fireworks, officers gathered nearby then responded to the location in force. Medical aid was provided to the citizen while officers experienced a growing level of what appeared to be juveniles and young adults engaged in the dispersion of highly explosive fireworks.
Approximately 40 minutes after being dispatched to the area, TAPD supervisors ordered officers to get back to their vehicles and leave the area. While preparing to leave an artillery-style high-powered explosive was launched and landed near the right leg of an officer. The explosion injured the officer’s right calf and Achilles area requiring medical attention. Other officers in the area sustained minor abrasions and contusions with a possibility that the officers sustained hearing damage.
The injured officer was transported by police to Wadley hospital where treatment was provided, and the officer was released Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The officer is expected to fully recover and will return to duty as soon as possible.
At approximately 11:40 pm on July 4, the fire department was dispatched to a grass fire near the railroad tracks and Euclid Street. Patrol officers paired in a police unit responded to provide security for the firemen as they extinguished the grass fire. Shortly after arriving, while one officer was stationed outside the passenger door of the unit, someone launched another artillery-style high-powered explosive towards the officer, striking him in the right shoulder before landing inside the car where it exploded. The second officer was seated in the driver’s seat and sustained what we hope is only short-term hearing damage as a result.
Fireworks such as roman candles and bottle rockets being aimed in the direction of police officers is nothing new. Officers have experienced these occurrences and understand their limitations; however, this new method of launching powerful artillery shell explosives toward police officers is new and will be addressed accordingly. The actions of these individuals are classified as felony criminal offenses and are currently under investigation by the TAPD Criminal Investigation Division. Anyone who has information concerning these events is encouraged to contact The Criminal Investigation Division at (903) 798-3154, or Crime Stoppers at (903)-793-7867 and you can remain anonymous.