Man dies after being shot by off-duty Brunswick officer

Neighbors say officer intervened because man was stabbing woman

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A man died Monday night after being shot by an off-duty Brunswick police officer who said he saw the man attacking a woman outside an apartment complex, according to the Brunswick Police Department.

Investigators said David Leon Bell, 35, was stabbing his fiancée in a crowded apartment parking lot on N Street about 7:15 p.m. Monday night in Brunswick when neighbors alerted an off-duty officer who also lived there.

Police said that officer, Aldrid Spaulding III, shot Bell, who died at the hospital from his injuries. 

The woman, who News4Jax is not naming because she is a domestic violence victim, was in stable condition at Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center.

News4Jax found that the woman is a mother of four who works at a McDonald's on St. Simons Island and that she posted to Facebook in 2016 that she planned to marry Bell, who worked at L&W Supply, later this month in Brunswick.

Neighbor Sandra Cohen said her 8-year-old grandson walked outside and saw the woman being stabbed and ran back inside to get help.

She said she ran to get Spaulding and then went back to her home to get something to get Bell off the woman.

“The weapon I had, I put it down, because I saw him and he had the gun,” Cohen said of Spaulding. “He was saying something to him. The guy kept saying, 'I don't care. I don't care. I don't care.' And he was still trying to stab her.”

Cohen said that's when Spaulding fired, hitting Bell multiple times. A woman who said she is Bell's mother posted on Facebook that he was shot four times.

Cohen said she believes her grandson and Spaulding are heroes.

"I still can't believe it," Cohen said. "Even to this minute, I cannot. All I can see is her face, asking for us to come. She was fighting him off, doing the best she could. He was persistent that he was going to kill her. That was his goal. And he came to do it."

A neighbor said she talked to the woman Tuesday and that she is resting and recovering at the hospital. Doctors are trying to make sure her wounds heal without infection. 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations was called to assist in the investigation.