SBI investigating police-involved shooting that led to death of Opp resident

Published 2:53 pm Friday, June 23, 2023

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating an officer-involved shooting that led to the death of an Opp man.

According to ALEA, the incident occurred at 7:43 a.m. when Opp police officers, as well as the Covington County Incident Response Team, responded to Hardage Circle after receiving a call about a man armed with a knife experiencing a “crisis.”

At the scene, officials reported that an Opp police officer was injured by the man, identified as Cornelius S. Ball, 45, of Opp. Other officers attempted to take Ball, still armed with a knife, into custody, ultimately resulting in an officer-involved shooting that left Ball injured. He was transported from the scene to Mizell Memorial Hospital and later transported to Medical Center South in Montgomery where he died Thursday.

According to a report by WDHN, some witnesses are disputing the narrative of the morning’s event, stating that Ball was shot as he ran out of the door of the apartment waving what appeared to be a belt, not a knife. At least one of those witnesses told WDHN that Ball had a history of mental issues and that police “aggravated the situation” by breaking a bathroom window, shooting a chemical irritant into the apartment, and shooting Ball with bean bags.

Opp Police Chief Kevin Chance could not be reached for comment.

Due to the police-involved shooting, the investigation has been turned over to ALEA’s State Bureau of Investigation. The SBI’s findings will be turned over to the Covington County District Attorney’s Office upon completion of the investigation.