STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Huntsville police catch armed suspect in Hays Nature Preserve

Chevey Swinford

Huntsville police say Swinford is now in custody. He is charged with domestic violence third-degree.

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 12:01 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2019 5:15 PM

9:10 a.m. UPDATE: Huntsville police say Swinford is now in custody.

8:55 a.m. UPDATE: Lt. Michael Johnson, Huntsville police spokesman, said Swinford should still be in the preserve.

A city of Huntsville worker spotted him and called police.

Swinford is not believed to be a danger to the public, Johnson said.

Police located a shotgun and a small firearm in the woods, but Johnson said it cannot be assumed Swinford is unarmed.

The woman he was with was checked out by a medical team and is now in custody. She may have prior warrants. Police have not released her name.

Johnson said the Jackson County Sheriff's Office is part of the case. Swinford has a criminal history in Jackson County.

Jackson County records show traffic violations along with possession of marijuana which he did plead guilty to, possession of controlled substances, and drug paraphernalia.

Swinford was sentenced to a year in jail in September 2018.

8:23 a.m. UPDATE: Hampton Cove elementary and middle schools and  Goldsmith Schiffman Elementary School all are operating on secure perimeter during the nearby police search, said Keith Ward, Huntsville City Schools spokesperson.

Huntsville police say a K9 unit in en route to help in the search for Swinford.

8:02 a.m. UPDATE: Huntsville police updated information to say they have seen Chevey Swinford in Hays Nature Preserve but he ran off before they could apprehend him. They have located the woman he was with and have her in custody.

7:39 a.m. UPDATE: According to an officer on the scene, Huntsville police believe the Chevey Swinford and the woman he was with are no longer in Hays Nature Preserve.

However, some officers remain on the scene as of 8 a.m.

A helicopter with infrared technology scanned for body heat signatures and found none, said police. Police believe they left the area. The car they were in has been towed.

The preserve is open to the public.

UPDATE: After calling off the search last night, police say they will resume the search Thursday morning.

UPDATE: Huntsville Police have identified the suspect as 37-year-old Chevey Swinford. 

From Wednesday night:

Huntsville police are currently searching for a suspect with a gun inside Hays Nature Preserve. According to police the man is with a woman inside the preserve. 

Police told WAAY 31 someone called 911 around 8:30 p.m. saying there was a domestic dispute between a man and woman at the EXXON on U.S. 431 near Sutton Rd. When police arrived they could not find the altercation. The person called back an hour and a half later and told police the dispute had moved to Hays Nature Preserve. 

When police arrived at the preseve they spoke to a woman involved who said she was the man's ex-girlfriend. She told police he had a gun and was inside the preserve with another woman. As police started their search they heard several gun shots come from the woods inside the preserve. Right now, roughly two dozen law enforcement officers from multiple agencies are searching for the man and the person he is with. 

A helicopter, police dogs, and the SWAT team are assisting officers in the search. WAAY 31 is on the scene working to learn more information on the search. Once we find out more we will keep you updated on air and online.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 55°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 54°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 47°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 43°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 488973

Reported Deaths: 9660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson703321342
Mobile35725716
Madison32088437
Tuscaloosa23913404
Montgomery22369481
Shelby21714209
Baldwin19554263
Lee14827147
Morgan13529243
Etowah13091309
Calhoun13063281
Marshall11197202
Houston10019255
Limestone9303130
Elmore9283179
Cullman8856176
St. Clair8747214
Lauderdale8541209
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7424161
Walker6466240
Jackson6450101
Autauga614384
Blount6058125
Colbert5973118
Coffee522299
Dale4606106
Russell400530
Franklin396575
Covington3918105
Chilton380096
Escambia375970
Tallapoosa3533138
Clarke342348
Dallas3385139
Chambers3382102
Pike292471
Lawrence280685
Marion277492
Winston244563
Marengo243454
Bibb243259
Geneva238168
Pickens223453
Barbour208450
Hale208064
Fayette198755
Butler194865
Henry181741
Cherokee175737
Monroe165538
Randolph161240
Washington155832
Crenshaw143052
Clay142554
Macon140344
Cleburne136139
Lamar130632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120525
Bullock116033
Conecuh106423
Perry104927
Sumter98231
Greene86732
Coosa86323
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 767315

Reported Deaths: 11198
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby863831451
Davidson80598835
Knox45139569
Hamilton39899450
Rutherford37781371
Williamson24944202
Sumner21120312
Montgomery17171207
Out of TN1659390
Wilson16157208
Unassigned15617126
Sullivan14142273
Blount13905176
Bradley12699137
Washington12659231
Maury12124158
Sevier11870160
Putnam10525167
Madison10030225
Robertson8866117
Hamblen7936160
Anderson7874155
Greene7251144
Tipton688699
Coffee6254114
Gibson6166140
Dickson6118103
Cumberland6070117
Carter5922152
McMinn585589
Roane579995
Bedford5744117
Loudon561464
Jefferson5569116
Lawrence554080
Warren529475
Monroe524988
Dyer5221100
Hawkins517092
Franklin469983
Fayette463571
Obion435694
Rhea411272
Lincoln409861
Cocke395691
Marshall387754
Cheatham385143
Campbell377458
Weakley377459
Giles370495
Henderson360673
Carroll346580
Hardeman337563
Macon334873
White333765
Hardin329562
Lauderdale308842
Henry298274
Marion289144
Wayne286330
Scott284842
Overton283257
Claiborne271665
Haywood264159
McNairy264151
Hickman262339
DeKalb261547
Smith252236
Grainger240446
Trousdale237722
Fentress228244
Morgan228236
Johnson214337
Chester200446
Bledsoe197910
Crockett196746
Unicoi179047
Cannon173528
Polk173221
Union168030
Lake167326
Grundy165730
Sequatchie153627
Decatur153135
Humphreys151121
Benton149939
Lewis145724
Meigs125420
Jackson124633
Stewart123024
Clay106030
Perry102327
Houston102030
Moore93616
Van Buren79120
Pickett74623
Hancock49212

Community Events