Chambers County Deputy killed during vehicle chase Monday

Published 9:31 pm Monday, June 20, 2022

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In a Monday press release, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) said a single-vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 3:38 p.m. Monday claimed the life of Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy J’mar C. Abel, 24, of Auburn.

Abel was fatally injured while assisting Roanoke Police with a traffic stop. Roanoke Police Chief Jonathan Caldwell said RPD officers attempted to stop a vehicle for speeding.

“The suspect drove into Chambers County,” Caldwell told VTN. “We contacted Chambers County Sheriffs’ department for assistance, Chambers County spiked the suspect, and the suspect was apprehended. The suspect had [an] active warrant in Randolph County. Narcotics were also located in the vehicle. He was transported back to Randolph County.”

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Abel was driving his patrol vehicle, a 2017 Ford Explorer, when the vehicle left the roadway, struck a ditch, and overturned. A lieutenant from Roanoke Police Department found Abel’s wrecked vehicle. The lieutenant and two citizens were able to free Abel from his vehicle. Abel was transported to the Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange. According to Troup County Coroner Erin Hackley, he succumbed to his injuries. He was pronounced dead at 5:41 p.m. Abel had been with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office for two years, with Monday his anniversary with the department.

The suspect has been identified as Brandon Dwight Rowe of Randolph County. Rowe had two active warrants in Randolph County for receiving stolen property first degree.  Caldwell said narcotics were also located in the vehicle. Rowe was arrested and charged with attempting to elude, possession of marijuana first degree, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of imitation controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia, and transported to Randolph County Jail. 

The crash occurred on Chambers County 278, approximately five miles south of Roanoke in Chambers County.

“On behalf of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy J’mar Abel. Deputy Abel’s loss is an indescribable tragedy for the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, his local community, and the State of Alabama,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “We join the rest of the law enforcement community in mourning the loss of this true professional and devoted public servant.”

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall offered the following statement in response to the line of duty death of Deputy Abel.

“Alabama’s law enforcement community is saddened tonight to learn of the loss of Chambers County Deputy Sheriff J’Mar Colin Abel, who gave his life while protecting the public,” Marshall said in a press release. “Deputy Sheriff Abel is the seventh Alabama law enforcement officer to perish in the line of duty this year, giving his all to fulfill his oath to protect and serve the public. His loss reminds us of the sacrifice that our law enforcement heroes make for us every day. We can never repay them.”

According to the press release from the attorney general’s office, Abel is survived by his fiancée, Jasmine Gaddist, of Auburn, and his father, Martin Abel, of Rainbow City.

Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division are still investigating.