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Huntsville police identify driver shot, killed by officers

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — The driver shot and killed by Huntsville police has been identified as 23-year-old Mario Lopez Ayala, but the name of his passenger, who was also killed, was withheld Wednesday until relatives could be contacted.

Police said Ayala, of Huntsville, attempted to run over an officer in the parking lot of La Bomba Mexican Restaurant early Sunday. Two uniformed patrol officers shot and killed Ayala and his passenger in the restaurant parking lot following an incident in which another vehicle was struck.

A police department review board meets Dec. 19 while the officers are on administrative leave. The board will issue an opinion on whether the officers involved in the shooting acted within department policy.

A Madison County grand jury will also consider the evidence.

Police declined to release further details on the officers or the victims' backgrounds while the investigation is ongoing.

Police initially were called by security employees at the restaurant about possible drug activity inside the restaurant, Police Chief Rex Reynolds said.

While an officer was still there on the call, security employees called police again about 15 minutes later about suspected drugs, Reynolds said.

The two officers were in the parking lot around 1:25 a.m. when a car driven by Ayala allegedly struck another vehicle in the parking lot.

Ayala then allegedly attempted to run over an officer who was trying to stop him. The officer was brushed on his leg by the car while trying to get out of the way, Reynolds said. That officer and another fired their weapons, police have said.

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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