Saturday, November 24, 2012

Slain deputy was 15-year veteran of Baldwin County Sheriff's Office |

Slain deputy was 15-year veteran of Baldwin County Sheriff's Office 

MARLOW, Alabama -- One Baldwin County sheriff's deputy was killed Friday and another was injured in a gunfight that also claimed the life of a man who exchanged gunfire with the deputies.

The gunfire erupted after Michael Jansen pulled a handgun on the three deputies outside a home south of Fairhope on Mallard Lane, Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack said.

The three deputies, armed with their service weapons, went to the 11800 block of Mallard Lane at about 4 p.m. Friday to check on a family disturbance involving Jansen, Mack said.

The gunfire took the life of Deputy Scott Ward, 47. Ward was pronounced dead after he was taken by helicopter to the University of South Alabama Medical Center.

"I have worked with him his entire time that he has been with the Sheriff's Office," Mack said. "He was a great law enforcement officer."

The second deputy also was taken by helicopter to University of South Alabama Medical Center. He was in serious condition late Friday night, the sheriff said.

Jansen was pronounced dead at the scene.

The third deputy who was involved in the shootout was not hurt, Mack said.

The Sheriff's Office withheld the names of the surviving deputies.


The loss of Deputy Ward

Deputies, deputies' family members, chaplains and Mack gathered at University of South Alabama Medical Center after the shooting.

Mack said others in the law enforcement community, including Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, either called him or stopped by the hospital to offer their condolences.

People also expressed their sympathy on Twitter.

Ward had been with the Sheriff's Office for more than 15 years. Ward, who was assigned to the patrol division, was a former Prichard police officer.

At the Sheriff's Office, Ward had worked in investigations, been a SWAT member and was a defensive tactics instructor.

He was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. Ward was deployed to Afghanistan about a year ago, Mack said.

"He was an outstanding officer," Mack said. "It's a great loss to us because he was such a big part our Sheriff's Office." Ward is survived by his wife.

Mack said he had the chance Friday night to talk to some deputies about the loss of Ward.

"Scott stood up ... and he did his job and in the course of the job he made the ultimate sacrifice," Mack said. "Tomorrow we will continue to grieve Scott, but we will have to move on. That's what Scott would want us to do because our mission does not stop."

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