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March 2, 2014

UPDATED: Man captured after fatal shooting of Berlin woman

CULLMAN — A suspect was taken into custody at gunpoint after fatally shooting a 32-year-old Cullman County woman in her residence in the Berlin community around 1 p.m. Sunday.

The victim was transported to Cullman Regional Medical Center with a single gunshot wound to the abdomen and was airlifted to Huntsville Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The identity of the victim has not yet been released.

The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 911 call and followed the 33-year-old suspect after he fled the residence. Cullman City Police Aviation Unit Lt. Danny Hite assisted Sheriff Mike Rainey in locating the suspect, who has not been named, in a bend of Mulberry River just south of Holly Pond.

Hite said he and city tactical officer Cindy Rohrscheib were given a vehicle and suspect description to assist in the manhunt.

"We were told a white male had shot a white female in a domestic violence incident and the male was still at large," Hite said. "We were given his physical description and one of his vehicle. After about 25 minutes in the air, officer Rohrscheib spotted the suspect's vehicle and we began orbiting around the area and found the suspect sitting on a large rock in a ravine that leads to a creek."

Hite said after the suspect was spotted, they notified the Cullman County Sheriff's Office, who were in pursuit of the suspect.

"We gave directions to the sheriff and the chief deputy," Hite said. "The roadway was treacherous to get down to where the suspect was. When they got to him, he had his hands up to show that he didn't have a gun on his person, but I believe they did locate a gun near him when he was apprehended."

Hite said a short time later, he informed Cullman County EMS personnel and additional deputies the location of the suspect and provided directions to the scene. Hite reported the Cullman city helicopter was in the air for a total of 72 minutes for the manhunt.

“We had an idea where the suspect fled,” Rainey said. “We took him into custody at gunpoint without incident ... I’m glad we got the guy.”

Rainey said more information will be available tomorrow after the suspect is booked and next of kin to the victim are notified.

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