5 Mississippi Officers Shot in Spree
5 Miss. Officers Shot in Spree
By JASON STRAZIUSO
Associated Press Writer
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Five law enforcement officers were shot during a bloody 36-hour saga that ended Sunday morning with the arrest of one man in the small Mississippi Delta town of Friars Point.
Mayor Herbert Thomas said none of the five officers was killed, and the man suspected in all five shootings — as well as in the shooting of a man on Friday — was in custody.
Friars Point Police Chief Anthony Smith had been trying to arrest Patrick Harper in connection with that Friday night shooting when the chief was shot in the neck Saturday evening, allegedly by Harper, Thomas said.
Smith was hospitalized Sunday in satisfactory condition at The Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., nursing supervisor Jackie Smartt said. The other officers were reported to be in satisfactory condition or better Sunday.
After the police chief was shot, officers from the Coahoma County Sheriff's Department were called in and tracked Harper to a nearby home in Friars Point, a town of about 1,400 people 200 miles northwest of Jackson.
As officers tried to enter the home early Sunday, just after midnight, gunshots rang out, and both Friars Point officer John Martin-Harris and sheriff's deputy Victor Randle were shot, Thomas said.
With Harris hurt and apparently taken hostage inside the home, police units from surrounding counties, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Mississippi Department of Corrections were called in.
``The suspect took the officer's radio and handcuffs and his gun and he started making demands that he wanted all the police cars except for two to leave,'' Thomas said.
Around 3 a.m., officers tried to approach the house again, but two more officers were shot, Thomas said. They were identified as sheriff's deputy Neal Mitchell and a corrections officer, apparently from a SWAT team.
``There was gunfire exchanged all throughout the night,'' Thomas said.
Around 5:30 a.m., Harris called from inside the home and the officers discovered that the suspect had slipped away.
An hour later, about 6:30 a.m., officers had Harper's grandmother's home surrounded. After two more hours of negotiations, Harper surrendered, Thomas said. He was being held at the Coahoma County jail.
Patrick Parker, who owned the home where the officers were shot, was also taken into custody because he had earlier denied knowing where Harper was, Thomas said.
It wasn't immediately clear what had led to the shooting Friday night of the Friars Point resident, Doyle Hunter. He was shot in the face and shoulder and remained hospitalized Sunday, said his cousin, Teanna Bell.