MBI probe into Jackson County shooting nearing completion

Findings will goto Jackson County district attorney

mbbaker@sunherald.comSeptember 27, 2012 

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd

JAMES EDWARD BATES — SUN HERALD Buy Photo

JACKSON COUNTY -- An investigation into a July 31 shooting at the Pascagoula office of the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County is nearing completion. The findings will be turned over the Jackson County District's Attorney Office, possibly as early as today, said Warren Strain, director of public affairs for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation.

"The district attorney will have to take a look at it (the findings) and decide how to proceed," Strain said Thursday. "Our involvement is whether or not there is any criminality involved and if not, this would be something for the … board of the Task Force to deal with. Basically, what we are looking at is whether there are any criminal violations."

Sheriff Mike Byrd, in written statements, said "a weapon was accidentally discharged by a drug agent …" and a "bullet hit the floor and piece of the tile dislodged, scraping a nearby officer in the leg." The statement said the injury was "minor and did not require hospital treatment."

The incident, a statement said, was reported immediately and disciplinary action was taken.

The shooting came to light earlier this month after Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis confirmed through other sources that a shooting had occurred and called for an emergency meeting of the Task Force board, which voted for the independent probe. The board consists of Byrd and the police chiefs in Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, Gautier and Moss Point. Pascagoula and Moss Point have pulled their officers from the Task Force pending the outcome of the investigation.

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