Father of Airman shot by Opelika police officer speaks out

Father of Airman shot by Opelika police officer speaks out
Billy Davidson
Billy Davidson
Michael Davidson, 21, was shot Thursday March 6.
Michael Davidson, 21, was shot Thursday March 6.

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - News Leader 9's Elizabeth White spoke with the father of the 20-year-old Airman who was shot in the stomach March 6 by an Opelika police officer.

It was the first on-camera interview Billy Davidson has done since the incident.

He met with us in a parking lot just across the street from East Alabama Medical Center, where his son is still recovering with serious injuries to his stomach.

Billy tells us his son is and has always been a good kid who is dedicated to his Air Force career. He is well-loved by his friends, family and church in east Texas.

He says his son was unarmed and did nothing to provoke being shot by an Opelika police officer.

"The whole family is just sick about this. We all love Michael, east Texas loves Michael. It's a hard thing," Billy said while choking back tears. "We liked to lose him, according to the surgeons. He almost bled out."

Michael Davidson, an Airman first class, was driving on I-85 at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 6 to North Carolina for his assignment.

His father says he got into a minor accident with another car and both drivers pulled over near Exit 62.

"I assume the police saw it and pulled, and Michael said he heard screaming or hollering and he saw the lights. He realized it was a police vehicle and he raised up his hand. He had his bill fold at the time he was turning around saying 'I am an Airmen headed to my...' and that is as far as he got. As he turned around he felt something hit him and he had been shot," Billy said.

"He kept asking 'Why did you shoot me?', and finally they came over and started checking on him and then he passed out," Billy added.

The bullet injured Michael's intestines and bowels, and he may live with a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.

His father says investigators waited 16 hours to tell the family about the incident.

Opelika Officer Phillip Hancock has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the ABI.

"The whole family is upset, everybody that knows Michael is upset. We don't understand how this could happen," Billy said.

Opelika police say no charges are pending against Michael Davidson.

Billy said Michael has never been in any major trouble or served time in jail. His father says there were no drugs, alcohol, or weapons in the car because they would end the Air Force career Michael took very seriously. Michael dreamed of entering the Air Force Academy, but his father worries that is no longer attainable because of his injuries.

Still, the family is thankful Michael is still alive. Now they want answers, but so far have felt ignored by all agencies involved.

"We came here not looking for an attorney, but looking for answers. We are a law and order family and we thought law and order would prevail, but now we are hearing they are looking for charges against Michael and stuff like that and we realize we need to protect our son," Billy said.

Billy says he wants to see the dash cam video of the shooting. We have filed a freedom of information request with the OPD in an effort to obtain a copy.

We are also waiting to hear back from the district attorney to see if charges are possible against the officer involved in the shooting.

Opelika police did not comment further, but did say a press conference may be held at a later date.

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