Store clerk in critical condition after 16-year-old shot him during attempted holdup, police say

Darius Melun Bland
Darius Melun Bland Moss Point Police Department

A 16-year-old Moss Point resident has received bonds of $200,000 in a holdup and shooting that critically wounded a gas station clerk during a shootout.

Darius Bland is being held on charges of aggravated assault and armed robbery from crimes reported early Wednesday against a 28-year-old worker at A & A Food Mart on Main Street.

Bland’s arrest came a few hours after police released surveillance pictures and asked for the public’s help to identify and find the suspect.

Police Chief Brandon Ashley said many people called in tips to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers and the Moss Point Police Department after the media published store surveillance pictures.

Bland also has a bond from an armed robbery arrest in D’Iberville from a 2017 arrest. He was accused of using a BB gun to rob a man sleeping under the Interstate 110 overpass, reports show. If that case should be resolved in Bland’s favor, he would be able to post bail on the latest charges.

Ashley had said a male wearing a white, hooded Aeropostale sweatshirt and blue jeans went inside the gas station/convenience store just before 1 a.m. Wednesday and showed a handgun while demanding the clerk give him money from the register.

The store clerk also displayed a weapon, and a shootout began, Ashley said. The clerk was shot in the abdomen.

It’s unclear who fired the first shot, Ashley said.

Bland ran out of the store and the wounded clerk was taken to Singing River Hospital, where he was rushed into surgery, Ashley said. The victim’s condition remained critical on Thursday, he said.

Anyone who has information about the case is asked to call Det. Kimberlee Snowden or the Moss Point Police Department at 228-475-1711. Tipster also can remain anonymous by calling Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-787-5898. Give a tip online at

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews