The Mobile Police Department (MPD) announced on Friday, Dec. 13, that one of their officers had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“We are mourning the death of one of our brothers in blue today,” Chief of Police Lawrence Battiste said in a Facebook post. “Our law enforcement family has lost Officer Justin Carmen early this morning to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

“We ask for the community’s prayers and support for Officer Carmen’s family during this time of loss as well as for his police family as they come to terms with his sudden death,” the post continued.

A source said Carmen was on duty but was not answering his radio so officers went to check on him, WPMI-TV reported. When they arrived, they found the 29-year-old officer unresponsive.

“There is a lot we just don’t know right now,” Battiste said. “Why this happened? It’s going to take us looking into his past to get an idea of what precipitated this event.”

Officer Carmen had served with the MPD since March 2018.

Battiste said that it was a tremendous loss for the department, and any time he interacted with Officer Carmen, he always had a smile on his face.

“We are sad. It’s not only the human quality but the brotherhood quality so we are remembering Justin and missing him,” Sgt. John C. Young said.

Public Safety Director James Barber said it has been a tough year for not only the officers of the MPD but law enforcement across the state.

Six officers in Alabama have been shot and killed since January.

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