The Montgomery Police Department is investigating a domestic violence incident that ended with gunfire Monday. Investigators say a man was shot and is listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.
The details of what played out at the Jackson Square Apartments are unclear, but authorities say they know a domestic violence issue escalated and shots were fired. It's a shooting that comes on the heels of five domestic-related homicides in Montgomery this year.
"If you feel that you are in current, present physical danger, always call 911," says Director of Jones School of Law's Family Violence Center, Kelly McTear.
McTear helps victims in situations just like Monday, everyday, and understands the complexities of domestic violence crimes.
"No relationship is all bad," McTear says. "You wouldn't have gotten into the relationship in the first place if the person had no redeeming value," McTear says, encouraging everyone to seek a protection order if they feel threatened, or their partner has a history of physical or verbal abuse.
However, she warns that those measures only goes so far. "What it can't do is to force someone to follow it," she says.
If a protection order is in place, and police respond to a domestic violence incident, they can quickly take the appropriate action.
"It ends up being one person verses the other person, and if nobody's got visible injuries, that's a very very difficult assessment to make. Having a protection order means that law enforcement doesn't have to make that assessment," McTear explains.
Police cannot confirm if the couple involved in Monday's shooting had past issues with domestic violence, only that the victim was shot and in need of emergency care. He remains in a local hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.
The suspect has a pending charge of second degree assault and domestic violence.
The major takeaway, McTear says, is that there are many resources to help domestic violence victims. She encourages those who have experienced physical abuse by an aggressor to file an assault charge and a protection order at the same time. The One Place Family Justice Center can help victims file both free of charge.
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