A break-in at a Notasulga package store Friday led to a police chase and exchange of gunfire between the fleeing suspects and a police officer, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday.
The suspects were identified as Marion Cortez Felder ,25, of Fitzpatrick, Ala., his brother Alexander Darnel Felder , 26, and Ronji Duvan Vason , 42, both of Montgomery, Ala. Each faces one count of attempted murder and reckless endangerment after shots were fired at the pursuing police officer.
The suspects are held on a $76,000 bond each in the Lee County Detention Facility but will be transferred to Macon County authorities after their release to answer burglary and theft charges in Notasulga.
At 3:05 a.m. CDT Friday, an alarm went off at a Notasulga package store, and the owner who lives nearby went to check on the business. At the scene, he found the front door pried open and several masked suspects stealing items inside the business.
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The masked men shoved the owner out of their way, ran from the store and jumped into a getaway car. In an attempt to disable their vehicle, the owner rammed their car with his vehicle and chased them until a shot was fired at him.
An officer on patrol in the area saw the fleeing vehicle with headlights turned off and all occupants wearing masks while the business owner pursued them. The officer activated his lights to stop the vehicle but the occupants started throwing liquor bottles at the police cruiser, striking it in the windshield.
The suspects then fired shots at the officer who returned fire while pursuing the vehicle on Highway 14 toward Auburn. To assist the officer, Auburn police deployed spike strips on the road to flatten the tires on the vehicle.
The vehicle continued to flee until it struck an iron fence behind a building on North College Street in Auburn. The occupants stopped the car and fled on foot briefly before they were taken into custody. Officers searched for a fourth suspect but found no one.
Chief Mike Knowles of the Notasulga Police Department requested Lee County Sheriff’s Office to conduct the officer involved shooting investigation with the three suspects.
During the investigation, detectives seized homemade masks, gloves and a 9mm pistol believed to have been used in the incident. They also recovered cigarettes, bottles of liquor and an undisclosed amount of cash. All three suspects will face charges in the store burglary and theft.
Anyone with information in the case should call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 334-749-5651 or Lee County Crime Stoppers at 888-522-7847.