A 15-year-old has been arrested on a charge of attempted murder after a drive-by shooting critically wounded a 17-year-old who was riding a bicycle in Bayside Park, Hancock County Investigator Glenn Grannan said.
Names of the teens, both males, have not been released, although the 15-year-old will be charged as an adult.
“Mississippi law doesn’t leave us with an option in this,” Grannan said of the charge. As of 4:30 p.m., the suspect was not listed on the Hancock County jail docket.
The victim was riding a bicycle on Hancock Drive near Madison Street about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday when the younger teen drove up in a white SUV, officials said. The teens reportedly exchanged words. The younger teen allegedly fired at least two shots, according to evidence markers placed in a ditch where deputies said they found the older teen, said Sheriff Ricky Adam.
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It appeared that two bicycles were in the ditch, indicating the wounded teen had been riding with someone. Grannan said the second bicycle belonged to an older man who happened to cross paths with the teen at the time of the shooting and was a witness to the incident.
The 17-year-old was taken to a hospital in New Orleans, where his condition was listed as critical early Wednesday afternoon. Grannan said the bullet apparently has lodged in the teen’s spine.
Before noon, deputies found a white SUV in front of a home on Oktibbeha Street and had it towed in for further investigation, Grannan said.
Deputies arrested the 15-year-old about 12:30 p.m. at a home on East Pike Street. The sheriff said the weapon believed to be used in the shooting was recovered.
Hancock Drive is a major north-south corridor in Bayside, a rural community west of Bay St. Louis.
The drive-by shooting is the second reported in Bayside since May 17, when a drive-by shooting at a house resulted in no injuries but endangered three people’s lives, according to the sheriff. An arrest was made in that shooting.
Digital editor Kate Magandy contributed to this report.