A man shot Friday morning by a Petal Police Department officer has died of his injuries.
Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict said the man was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound at about 10 a.m. at Forrest General Hospital. A name and age of the deceased are not yet available.
“He’s going to Jackson for an autopsy,” Benedict said.
Police responded to a traffic accident at Leeville Road and Mississippi 42 in Petal shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, at which point the officer fired shots during an apparent altercation, according to officials.
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“(There was an altercation) with one of the people involved in that car wreck, then shots were fired and one individual was fatally wounded,” said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the investigation. “To my knowledge, the other individual did not (fire shots), but that’s still all subject to the investigation.
“We do have people who were there, witnesses, whom are being interviewed through the course of (Friday) afternoon.”
In addition to the MBI, Petal Police Department was assisted on the scene by Forrest County Sheriff’s Office and Lamar County Sheriff’s Department.
Strain said officials were still very early in the investigation stages.
“Don’t jump to any conclusions based on what’s being put out on social media — we’re finding ourselves having to say that more and more frequently these days,” Strain said. “There’s some speculation about the sequence of events and so forth, so until we can conduct a full review of what occurred, don’t jump to any conclusions. We still have a ways to go.”
In November, a man was killed during an officer-involved shooting in Hattiesburg.
Around 1 p.m. Nov. 25, a Hattiesburg police officer spotted someone driving down the road who appeared to be a suspect in a burglary and credit card fraud, according to previous reports.
When the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the suspect failed to respond.
The suspect’s vehicle eventually was stopped at Old Airport Road and Att Avenue in the Palmers Crossing area of Hattiesburg, where he fled on foot. The suspect allegedly fired shots at the officer in pursuit, who returned fire, striking the suspect.
Jerome Chris Harmon, 23, of Hattiesburg died later that night at Forrest General Hospital.