OPELIKA, Ala.Sept 26 2009 — Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy James Anderson died Thursday while in the line of duty. Anderson, 39, was struck by a vehicle just before 1 p.m. CDT as he approached a car during a traffic stop at Lee Road 240 and Lee Road 234 in Smiths Station, said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
The suspect driving the car, Gregory Lance Henderson, 31, of Columbus faces a charge of capital murder, the sheriff said.
Anderson, a three-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was the passenger in the patrol vehicle when the traffic stop happened, Jones said. The suspect’s vehicle pulled into a driveway, and the sheriff’s car pulled in behind it. The suspect turned his car to the right, as if to pull back onto the road. The sheriff’s car pulled to the right as well to block his exit, Jones said. That’s when Anderson got out of his vehicle and approached the suspect’s car while the other deputy remained behind the wheel.
“When (Anderson) attempted to make contact with the driver of the stopped vehicle, the driver accelerated forward, striking the deputy and pinning him under his car,” Jones said. “At that point, the other deputy took the offender into custody. Within minutes, other law enforcement officers and emergency equipment arrived.” Anderson was taken to The Medical Center in Columbus, where he was pronounced dead, Jones said.