Tragic City

Homicide number 88:

As many as 150 officers scoured neighborhoods in and around west Birmingham Monday night hunting for two men who killed one Fairfield police officer and wounded another.

Officer Mary Smith, 48, was fatally shot in the chest Monday morning just as she stepped out of her patrol car to check on a suspicious vehicle in Fairfield’s Vinesville neighborhood.

Officer Erick Burpo arrived seconds after Smith and was shot in the leg before he could get out of his car, according to Fairfield Police Chief Pat Mardis.

A story about Ofc. Smith:

Until her retirement from the Birmingham force two months ago, Smith, 48, worked afternoon security at the Five Points West Library. Friends there were grief-stricken, said librarian Virginia Guthrie.

“My whole staff is in tears,” she said. “She was just in the library Friday visiting her friends. She came in to pick up some books.”

The officer had worked at other libraries in the western area, including Ensley, Wylam, West End and Smithfield.

Guthrie and Smith, who always wore a protective vest, was outgoing and knew how to keep order when students swarmed the library after school.

“She knew the young people and knew how to deal with them. She was marvelous,” Guthrie said.

A suspect captured:

Officers today captured a Leeds man wanted for questioning in the shooting death of Fairfield police officer Mary Smith.

Authorities took Demetrius Avery Jackson, Jr. , 21, listed as a person of interest, into custody at 11:30 a.m.

Be sure to check out Wade’s compilation of B’ham crime news, in particular the interactive map of the year’s previous 87 homicides.

Explore posts in the same categories: Birmingham Crime

One Comment on “Tragic City”

  1. Dystopos Says:

    Still on 87 for the City of Birmingham. I don’t know the number for the entire county, but it’s more than 88. There’s a listing of Birmingham homicides on

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