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Gov. Ivey directs flags at half staff to honor fallen police officer Dornell Cousette

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a statewide directive to fly flags at half-staff on the day of interment of Tuscaloosa Police Investigator Dornell Cousette. Cousette was killed in the line of duty attempting to apprehend an armed and dangerous felon Monday night.

“Monday evening, I was devastated to learn of the news that Alabama lost our fourth law enforcement officer to a senseless act of violence this year,” Gov. Ivey said. “Two beautiful children lost their father. A soon-to-be bride lost her fiancé. The Tuscaloosa community lost a protector and 13-year veteran to the force. Truly, Alabama has lost one of her heroes, Dornell Cousette.”

Cousette was attempting to arrest a 20 year old suspect who had been previously arrested for robbery and assault and has failed to appear for multiple court dates. The felon was on the front porch when Investigator Cousette arrived. He retreated into the house with Cousette in pursuit. A gun battle ensued. Cousette was mortally wounded. The suspect fled the scene; but later went to the hospital to have his wound treated.

“We cannot take for granted the tremendous sacrifices our men and women in law enforcement make each and every day in order to keep us safe,” Ivey said. “Because of Officer Cousette’s brave call to action, the felon he pursued now remains in custody. Officer Cousette laid down his life in service to the people of Tuscaloosa.”

“Tonight, Officer Dornell Cousette of the Tuscaloosa Police Department died after being shot in the line of duty while serving a warrant. Officer Cousette was a U.S. Army veteran and father of two daughters. Please pray for his family, fiancée, and fellow officers. #ThinBlueLine,” Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) said on social media.

“I’m heartbroken to hear Officer Dornell Cousette, a true Alabama hero, was killed in the line of duty last night,” Congresswoman Terri A Sewell, D-Selma, said. “He faithfully served in the Tuscaloosa Police Department for 13 years. He was a veteran, father of two daughters and engaged to be married. My heart goes out to his family.”

“Heroes come in many different forms…in our community, our heroes wear the uniform of the Tuscaloosa Police Department,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter “Walt” Maddox said in a statement.

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“Tonight one of our heroes has died in the line of duty protecting our community. We will be forever grateful for heroes like Officer Dornell Cousette.”

“Tuscaloosa PD Investigator Dornell Cousette’s end of watch has come too soon,” U.S. Attorney Jay Town said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, fiancé, children, and fellow officers. This is yet another heartbreaking reminder of the dangers our brave men and women of the badge face daily.”

“With heavy hearts, we pray that God lays a hand of comfort on the Dornell Cousette family, his fellow officers, and all those affected,” Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, said. “A tragic reminder of the sacrifices our brave law enforcement make to keep our families safe.”

“We are praying today for the family, friends, and fellow officers of Tuscaloosa Investigator Dornell Cousette,” Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R) said. “We must always remember the sacrifices of our men and women in law enforcement. We are kept safe by their thin blue line and their willingness to place themselves in harm’s way to protect us.”

“Our deepest prayers remain with Officer Cousette’s two children, his fiancé, the Tuscaloosa Police Department, the city of Tuscaloosa and all of our brave men and women who put their lives on the line to ensure the protection of our communities,” Ivey concluded. “The ultimate sacrifice of Officer Dornell Cousette will never be forgotten.”

Cousette is the fourth Alabama law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty this year. The murder of a police officer in the performance of his or her duties is punishable by death in Alabama.

“There is no punishment severe enough for those who kill our police officers,” Byrne said.

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This story will be updated when we learn when Investigator Cousette will be interred.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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