Crime

Man, woman die in Auburn after shootout and apartment fire on Stonegate Drive

A man and woman sought in the shooting of an Auburn police officer were found dead in a charred apartment after exchanging gunfire with officers in the 1100 block of Stonegate Drive late Friday, the Lee County coroner said.

A man believed to be Christopher James Wallace, 38, and an unidentified woman were removed from the rubble of an apartment and pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m., Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said. The bodies will be transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for a postmortem examination to determine a cause of death and positive identification.

Auburn police along with federal, local and state law enforcement from surrounding areas encountered two possible suspects about 9:30 p.m. in the shooting of a police officer and a robbery attempt. Police confronted Wallace and the woman on Stonegate Drive off Wire Road as they fled into an apartment. Gunfire was exchanged between officers and the suspects while officers were trying to get the suspects out of the apartment.

Two people believed to be relatives of one suspect left the apartment and were taken into custody. A fire ignited inside the apartment and Auburn firefighters responded to douse the blaze.

The dead man and woman were located in a back room of the apartment.

At the request of the Auburn Police Department, the SBI of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is in charge of the investigation. The State Fire Marshal’s Office will assist in the probe to determine the cause of the fire.

The deaths remain under investigation by the Lee County Coroner’s Office, SBI and the State Fire Marshal’s Office .

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