The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 26, 2012

Police check gun source in Ala. deputy's shooting

— BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine how a man with a history of mental health problems obtained the gun he used to shoot two Baldwin County sheriff's deputies, one fatally.

Officials said Monday the source of the weapon is part of their investigation into the shooting death of Deputy Scott Ward and the wounding of Deputy Curtis Summerlin.

Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack choked up during a news conference while discussing the death of Ward, whom the sheriff described as a longtime friend.

"He was a friend and an exemplary deputy sheriff," Mack said before stopping to regain his composure.

Authorities said Michael Jansen opened fire on officers who were answering a disturbance call at his home near Fairhope on Friday afternoon. Deputies shot and killed Jansen.

Summerlin remained hospitalized with bullet wounds in the arm and leg. He was listed in fair condition following two operations.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is trying to determine who owned the gun and how it was obtained, said District Attorney Hallie Dixon.

Dixon said Jansen would have had to undergo a background check that could have uncovered his history of mental health problems if he bought the weapon at a store. But the man could have legally purchased the gun from another individual without a check, she said.

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