Moss Point man charged after nephew shot in the head

Derek Smith
Derek Smith

A man told sheriff’s investigators he intended to fire a shot behind a nephew’s head to stop a fight between two nephews but didn’t mean to hit anyone, an incident report says.

Deputies arrested Derek Paul Smith, 68, on an aggravated assault charge Sunday at his home on Old Mobile Highway in Moss Point.

The argument between the nephews reportedly was over a pit bull.

Bringing the dog into Smith’s house was “against family rules” because family members perceive the dog to be aggressive, according to the report, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Marcia Hill said.

The dog bit one nephew who had been hugging he dog on Smith’s couch, Hill said.

The nephew who was bitten left but reportedly returned with a hunting knife, saying he would stab his cousin. He started making stabbing motions with the knife, according to the report.

Smith told deputies that’s when he pulled out a .38 Special and fired a shot to break up the argument but, in the commotion, a bullet struck one nephew in the head, Hill said.

The nephew who owns the dog drove his twice-wounded cousin to Singing River Hospital. By the time a detective got there, she said, the wounded man had been taken to USA Medical Center in Mobile. His condition wasn’t immediately available.

The dog was not wounded.

Smith was being held at the Jackson County jail with no bond pending an initial court appearance.

The investigation continues, Hill said.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews