Suspect in shooting of deputy released from hospital, taken to jail

John Cross, a 42-year-old Lee County resident, is accused of shooting a Lee County deputy on...
John Cross, a 42-year-old Lee County resident, is accused of shooting a Lee County deputy on Oct. 20, 2021.(Source: Opelika Police Department)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The suspect charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a Lee County deputy has been released from the hospital and booked in jail.

John Cross, a 42-year-old Lee County resident, was released from a hospital in Columbus, Georgia Monday, according to the Opelika Police Department.

Cross, who is also known as Squirrel, is being held in the Russell County Jail on a $250,000 bond. His first court appearance is Wednesday afternoon.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said a deputy pulled over a motorcyclist, later identified as Cross, for a traffic violation on Oct. 20 around 8:40 a.m. on Lee County Road 121 in the Beauregard community.

Jones said Cross sped away and crashed his bike a few yards away. When the deputy drove up to check on him, Cross allegedly fired a gun, striking the deputy in the hands and arm.

Jones said the officer returned fire and both were struck at least once during the exchange.

The sheriff said responding deputies found Cross a short distance from the scene. He’d apparently crawled into the woods.

The deputy, whose name hasn’t been released, was taken by medical helicopter to Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, Georgia. The day after the shooting, he was scheduled for surgery to correct damage caused by bullets that struck his hands and arm. Jones said the officer’s prognosis was good.

The Opelika Police Department is leading the investigation.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Opelika Police Department Detective Division at 334-705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at 334-745-8665. Tips can also be submitted through our Opelika Police mobile app.

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