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Officials identify man killed in Stone County shootout with officers. Passengers face charges.

An alleged attempted carjacking at a Harrison County gas station led to a pursuit into Stone County, where an exchange of gunfire killed the driver and wounded his two passengers, officials said.

Miles Dylan Cooper, 25, of Gulfport was killed, said Mississippi Highway Patrol Captain Johnny Poulos on Thursday evening. Charlie Randolph Grissom, 24, of Kiln and Tarrah Lynn Owens, 35, of Saucier were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

The reported carjacking attempt happened Wednesday at First Place gas station on Mississippi 67 near Mississippi 605, said MHP Master Sgt. Chase Elkins. The gas station is across from the William Carey University’s Tradition campus.

A state trooper tried to make a traffic stop on a 2002 Dodge Durango on Mississippi 15 at about 5 p.m. “The suspects sped off, leading troopers in a pursuit. I don’t know that it reached 100 mph, though,” Elkins said.

The Durango traveled north, entering Stone County, when shots were fired from the vehicle, said Poulos. Troopers returned fire, he said.

Elkins said the driver lost control of the SUV, with the suspects continuing to fire at troopers. Cooper was pronounced dead at the scene.

Grissom and Owens were booked into Stone County Correctional Facility after being released from the hospital. They face four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

The Highway Patrol will not be releasing footage from body-worn or patrol car dash cams to the media, a standard policy in criminal cases.

“It is now a criminal investigation and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is collecting evidence,” Elkins said. “All of their findings will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office.”

The troopers will be placed on administrative leave until an internal investigation is completed, Elkins said.

Robin Fitzgerald covers real-time news, such as crime, public safety and trending stories. In nearly 40 years as a journalist, her highest honors include investigative awards for covering the aftermath of the fatal beating of a Harrison County jail inmate in 2006 and related civil rights violations. She is a Troy University graduate.
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