He saw blue lights and pulled over. Soon after, he was dead, cops say

Christopher May
Christopher May

A New Orleans man posing as a police officer shot and killed a 68-year-old man Wednesday morning during a fake traffic stop, Hancock County Investigator Glenn Grannan said.

Christopher Mays was arrested on charges on capital murder, armed robbery and impersonating a police officer. He is being held at the Hancock County jail.

Grannan said sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of a shooting about 5:40 a.m.

Clifford Burke, 68, had his boat in tow and was driving to the boat launch on Pleasure Street near Lakeshore Road for a fishing trip when he saw a white Ford Crown Victoria with blue lights in the grill drive up behind him, Grannan said.

Grannan said Burke, of Waveland, pulled over and Mays approached the truck and shot Burke twice before taking Burke’s wallet. Burke was shot in the side and in the chest, just below his neck. Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk said Burke died from a gunshot wound.

Grannan said Burke was able to give sheriff’s officials a description of the man who shot him before he was taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, where he died.

“We initiated a search for the car, and we were fortunate enough to find the vehicle that matched the description in the area,” Grannan said. After looking at the vehicle, officials found Mays and took him into custody.

Grannan said investigators were interviewing Mays on Wednesday afternoon and have reason to believe he disposed of the murder weapon, a small-caliber handgun.

Grannan said it’s been an emotional day for the sheriff’s department in the wake of Burke’s death.

“He was retired, going fishing every day,” Grannan said. “What makes this worst is the this guy (Mays) doesn’t know him. He might have gotten $40 from him. And he killed him.

“My crew is pretty emotionally beat up this week, and it’s only Wednesday.”

Sun Herald reporters Robin Fitzgerald and Jeff Clark contributed to this report.