FLORENCE — A four-hour standoff ended Monday with police killing a suspect who had fled into a wooded area after the suspect had fatally shot a man that morning, police said.

Police Chief Ron Tyler did not identify the suspect who was killed because they had not notified next of kin.

Tyler identified the man who died in the morning shooting as Nathan Bevis. He said Bevis and the suspect were acquaintances but the chief did not know details about how they knew each other.

The suspect was shot at approximately 3 p.m. during a barrage of gunfire within the wooded area. The sounds of bangs and crackling of gunfire were heard throughout the surrounding neighborhood. The suspect was the only one shot in the exchange.

Police received a call at approximately 10:30 a.m. of a shooting in the area of 401 Plum St., Tyler said.

Officers received reports that the shooting suspect had fled on a bicycle. Officers searched the area, including a wooded area along East Limestone Street, and found a bicycle. They continued searching the wooded area and found the suspect at approximately 11 a.m.

"He was concealing himself in the woods," Tyler said. "This wooded area is thick. The undergrowth is heavy and very difficult to see."

East Limestone intersects with the 400 block of Plum Street and the densely wooded area is on the north side of Limestone adjacent to Florence City Cemetery. Oak Hollow Apartments is on the south side of Limestone.

Police negotiated with the suspect for four hours.

"He was armed; he was concealing himself and he was threatening self-harm," Tyler said. "Our officers showed a great deal of restraint for four hours as they negotiated with this individual.

"Toward the end of the day he gave an ultimatum, and ultimately he started shooting at our officers and our officers returned fire and the suspect is now deceased."

Members of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency were assisting at the scene and will take over the investigation, which is standard procedure for an officer-involved shooting, the chief said.

He said officers wanted to avoid the incident ending-shootout but the suspect fired at them, leaving them no choice.

"I'm thankful to report all Florence officers are safe and sound," Tyler said. "They'll go home in the same shape they showed up for work this morning."

He said "multiple shots were fired in both directions."

"This was a unique encounter between us and a violent felony suspect," Tyler said. "It's a real thick area. The underbrush is grown, and it's very difficult to see."

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bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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