Police in Gulf Shores search for domestic violence suspect


SWAT teams and K-9 officers surrounded a Gulf Shores home Thursday night and Friday morning.  

Police said the man who caused it is still on the loose.

Gulf Shores Police are searching for 39 year old Kenny Thomas of Summerdale.

They say he fired a weapon at a woman before running out of a house.

Gulf Shores Police closed off Old Plash Island Road as SWAT team members from Foley and Orange Beach joined them in searching for Kenny Thomas.

Police say it started Thursday night around 11:30 when they answered a domestic dispute call.

They say Thomas and a woman he was dating had an argument, and Thomas grabbed her by throat, got a weapon, and fired it inside the home.

Sergeant Jason Woodruff with the Gulf Shores Police Department said, “The victim tells us that the suspect fired a shot at her. She was able to escape the residence and get to a safe place and call for help.  She told us the last place she saw him was inside the residence.  We treated that as a barricaded subject call.” 

Police converged on the house and say they fired a distraction device there, which some nearby residents thought was a gunshot.  

Police say Thomas was not inside the home, but that they did find a gun.

They then searched about ten acres around the residence.

Bonnie Petersell and her husband, Bob, live near the home. 

Despite heavy police presence, she said they were worried about walking their dogs Friday morning.

Bonnie Petersell said, “It is very concerning to me.  My husband and the dogs walk through the woods and, yes, I was alert to the woods for the simple fact you don’t know what may be coming out.”

Bob Petersell said, “I used to be a volunteer firefighter.  Anytime there’s gunfire, you’re going to get cops from fifty miles away.” 

Mark Butler works across the street from the home and said he was not surprised there was plenty of activity at the house Friday morning.

Butler said, “No, not at all, cause they’re coming and going all day long:  cops are coming and going all day long on in here.”

By about 7:30 Friday morning, Police opened Old Plash Island Road while continuing the search.

Gulf Shores Police say upon his arrest, Thomas will be charged with domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation, which is a felony.

They’re asking people who may know where Thomas is to call them.

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