VALLEY, AL (WTVM) - A Valley, Ala. man is facing attempted murder charges of a Valley Police officer.
Authorities say the suspect, 26-year-old Barry Bland, fired shots from his moving vehicle early Thursday morning on Interstate 85. Valley Police tell News Leader 9 the officer was fired upon multiple times with a semi-automatic handgun during a pursuit.
Valley Police shared dash cam video from the Sergeant Duane Vallia's patrol car with News Leader 9. You can see multiple flashes and hear several discharges as Bland appears to point the gun out of his window and fire back at Vallia's patrol car.
"With the trend of what's happening around the country, we just knew it was only a matter of time before it happened here," said Major Mike Reynolds with the Valley Police Department. "It's scary, very scary."
The incident began at 3:15 a.m. when Officer Valllia attempted to pull over Bland for a switched tag. Bland sped away onto I-85 at exit 79 and the dashcam captured the suspect firing several times at Officer Vailla.
One bullet hit the radiator, disabling the patrol unit. As Sergeant Vallia pulled over, he radioed Bland's direction of travel. The chase continued until Bland went airborne while going over the railroad tracks along 177 and wrecked.
Rebecca Gallops, 35, was in the passenger seat and was arrested for drug possession.
Police say Bland ran but was spotted hiding under a truck by Deputy Derrick Wright. Detectives say the deputy knew the suspect had just fired at police, but maintained his cool, even when Bland tried to run again.
"He did the right thing, when he approached the suspect. Of course he (Deputy Wright) had his weapon out giving him (Bland) commands, but when he (Wright) saw he (Bland) did not have a weapon he transitioned to his tazer to less lethal force and was able to bring the situation under control," said Reynolds.
Inside Bland's car, you can see glass where he shot out his own windows. Deputies recover suspected crystal-meth, marijuana and numerous shell casings from a Reuger 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Police recovered the weapon when Bland showed them where he dumped it.
Not one of the multiple agencies involved in Bland's chase and capture fired their weapons.
"We are just thankful our officers are fine, that no civilians were injured, yes it was early this morning, but there were still vehicles on the interstate when the shots were fired, so we are just thankful it only hit our patrol car," said Maj. Reynolds.
Bland faces attempted murder of a police officer, felony attempting to elude and possession.
Both Bland and Galllups are being held at the Chambers County Detention facility, pending bond.
Just last month, police say Bland led members of the Chambers County Drug Task Force on another high speed chase.
At the time of his arrest on Thursday, Bland was wanted on multiple felony drug charges. Now he also faces attempted murder of a police officer.