They were wrestling outside of an Ocean Springs bar when a gun went off, cops say

Matthew Chase Smith, left, and Larry Ratliff III
Matthew Chase Smith, left, and Larry Ratliff III

A bar fight escalated when it spilled outside into the establishment's parking lot early Saturday morning, Ocean Springs police say.

Police arrived at the Boots & Spurs just before 3 a.m. Saturday and came upon a large crowd outside the bar, Capt. William Jackson said.

A friend of 27-year-old Matthew Chase Smith was being escorted out of the bar by security when the Vancleave man tried to intervene, Jackson said.

Smith and his friend were confronted from behind by 25-year-old Larry Ratliff III and a fight broke out, Jackson said.

Ratliff and Smith began to wrestle when Ratliff's gun was fired, possibly into the ground, Jackson said. No one was injured by the bullet, but Ratliff was arrested on a charge of brandishing a firearm. Smith also was arrested on a public drunk charge.

Anyone with more information is asked to call the Ocean Springs Police Department at 228-875-2211.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs