Crime

Man shot, killed by officers in George County identified

The man shot and killed by law enforcement officers Sunday in George County has been identified as a 36-year-old Lucedale man.

Michael A. Parker, 36, lived on Basin Refuge Road in Lucedale, said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Strain released Parker's name Monday and said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is continuing to investigate the incident.

It is believed to be the first officer-involved shooting in George County since May 2014.

Parker reportedly led one or more George County deputies on a high-speed chase after he failed to pull over for a traffic stop shortly after midnight at Old Highway 63 and Mississippi 63.

Strain later Sunday said a state trooper had joined in the pursuit, which ended in a crash on Mississippi 26 at Henry Cochran Road just west of Lucedale.

Strain said officers "were forced to discharge their weapons."

No details are being released on why officers reportedly were forced to shoot or if Parker was armed.

"There's nothing sinister, no cover up," Strain said.

"We need to get farther along in the investigation and we're hesitant to say anything publicly. That's the approach our agency typically takes under similar circumstances and the policies that exist."

The MBI typically handles independent investigations of officer-involved shootings in Mississippi and turns the findings over to a district attorney for the case to be presented to a grand jury. MBI, which operates under the MDPS, does not release results of completed investigations to the media.

Strain said the same procedure will be followed in this incident.

A female passenger in the crashed vehicle had minor injuries from the crash, District Attorney Tony Lawrence told the Sun Herald. Lawrence said the woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.

George County Sheriff Dean Howell, who lost his bid for re-election in the August primary election, has issued no statements on Sunday's shooting.

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