UPDATE: Motorcyclist Accused of Shooting Lee County Deputy Identified

John Cross

John “Squirrel” Cross – Photo from Opelika Police Dept.

The motorcyclist accused of shooting a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy during a shootout Wednesday morning has been identified.

Opelika police say 42-year-old John Cross, also known as “Squirrel,” who is from Lee County, will face a warrant for attempted murder.

Investigators say Cross and the deputy exchanged gunfire during a traffic stop, leaving both of them with injuries.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says the deputy, whose name hasn’t been released, pulled over a motorcycle driver for a traffic violation in the Beauregard community around 8:40 a.m.

Jones says the rider tried to speed away and crashed, and the motorcyclist then fired as the deputy pulled up. The officer then returned fire.

Jones says both the officer and the rider were hit. Jones says the deputy was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Columbus, Georgia, and is expected to survive.

Cross was taken to another hospital in Columbus with unknown injuries. Opelika police say he is being guarded by Muscogee County, Georgia, deputies, and once he is released from the hospital, he will be taken to the Muscogee County Jail. An extradition process will start to bring him back to Alabama to be housed in a neighboring county’s jail.

If you have information about this case, call Opelika police at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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