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Clay County native who became police officer killed in line of duty

19-year-old suspect arrested after fatal shooting in Mobile Alabama

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FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – A Clay County native working as a police officer in Mobile, Alabama, was shot and killed Sunday. Officer Sean Tuder, 30, was gunned down while serving an arrest warrant, according to authorities.

Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said a suspect, Marco Perez, 19, was taken into custody on a capital murder charge. WKRG-TV reported that he was ordered held without bond.

Law enforcement agencies, including the Putnam County Sheriff's Office and Clay County Sheriff's Office, are remembering Tuder, who was a former officer at the Palatka Police Department.

Members of Tuder's family, who still live in Clay County, released a statement, saying they appreciated the outpouring of "thoughts, prayers and support over the loss of our beloved son."

Sean loved his family and this country. ... He is our hero and a patriot."

Tuder's family members in both Fleming Island and Middleburg are traveling to Mobile.

Tuder, who graduated from Fleming Island High School, was involved in a shooting during a reported armed burglary in 2015 while he was a Palatka officer.

Tuder joined the Mobile Police Department in March 2016 and was Officer of the Month in July 2017.

Clay County Sgt. Zach Cox met Tuder when through friends who went through the police academy with Tuder about five years ago. He said when his dispatch center called to tell him his friend had been shot and killed, he had to pull over.

"I was driving home from dinner from St. Augustine. Had to put my car in park for a minute and take a couple deep breaths," Cox said. "Just absolutely standup guy. Very well liked throughout the community. Words can only describe how great of a guy he was."

 


 

Tuder was shot at the Peach Place Inn during an ongoing investigation. Mobile authorities said Pere was wanted on federal gun charges and was a suspect in 18 car burglaries. He was also a suspect in a robbery at a vape store.

After Perez's bond hearing Monday, District Attorney Ashley Rich told WKRG what an awesome police officer Sean Tuder was and how he served in the National Guard.

"Not only was he serving our community as a police officer, he was serving our country because that's the kind of person that he was," Rich said. "He was a man of service. his entire life revolved around it and his wife and his family."

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Perez (pictured, right) and his mother are both charged in a plot to fake a kidnapping to avoid the teen being arrested last week on an outstanding warrant. Tiffany Perez was charged Thursday with filing a false report.

Tuder is the fifth police officer in the United States to be gunned down in the line of duty in the first 20 days of 2019.

Seven other officers have been killed on the job, four in firearms-related deaths and three in traffic accidents, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Cox said his friend's death reminds him there can danger at every turn for police officers.

"Every day that we pull out of our driveway, it’s dangerous," Cox said. "We put on this uniform, this badge, leaving our families to go protect other families that we don’t even know."

Tuder's widow posted the arrangements for his funeral on Facebook, inviting the public to "come give me a hug and say goodbye to our hero."

Visitation will be open to the public from 5-8 p.m. Thursday and from 10-11 a.m. Friday at Dauphin Way Baptist in Mobile. 

Tuder's funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday followed by a graveside service, burial and reception at Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Mobile.