Jackson County

UPDATED 2:55 p.m.: Two charged in Gautier home invasion; investigation continues

GAUTIER -- Gautier police said today that a home invasion last night appears to have been the first strike by a vigilante-style group of teens lead by a 32-year-old in Gautier.

Police confiscated an operations manual for the para-military group that calls itself Tactical Search Unit (TSU) of The Savior Unit and states that its purpose is to “promote Christ, obtain offenders who are a danger to society, do community service work for churches and halfway houses, and do security for different functions.”

The leader of the group, Michael Shaun Schaffran, 32, the “commander” and Cody Jacob Rogers, 18, who police say is the “captain” of the group were arrested within minutes of a home invasion at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. They were each charged with three counts of kidnapping and burglar of an occupied house.

Police said the two, clothed in black and military camouflage with ski masks over their faces, went to a home on Dailey Road in north Gautier, burst in and dragged the three people who live there out of the house. One was a 70-year-old man.

Because they were already investigating tips they had received about the group, the two men were arrested within minutes of the 911 call, police said.

The three people who were assaulted, signed charges against Schaffran and Rogers, police said.It turns out that Schaffran is a transplant from Arizona with a lengthy record of criminal convictions, said Gautier police Capt. Kenneth McMellon.

There were four other teens listed in the manual as members of the group.

Det. Matt Hoggatt said, “We're working to see if it's something bigger or just a random act by dilenquents.”

Read more in Thursday's Sun Herald.