Meridian Star

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September 19, 2013

Burglary and shooting incident leads to search

MERIDIAN —     One person is being sought while two persons of interest are being held in connection with an incident in the Russell community in which a home was reportedly burglarized, shots were fired, and a manhunt for suspects was launched.

    Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department Chief Dep. Ward Calhoun said at the scene located on Russell Mt. Gilead Road and Dees Road that details are somewhat sketchy as to what exactly happened and the sequence of events that followed. LCSD investigators are also trying to sort out just who is involved.

    "As it is in many cases, we are trying to separate fact from fiction," Calhoun said.

    Calhoun said deputies were initially called to the 2300 block of Russell Mt. Gilead Road to a report of a burglary in progress. While deputies were still minutes away, they were told shots had been fired.

    Calhoun said when deputies arrived at 2392 Russell Mt. Gilead Road, they were told by the homeowner up to three people fled into the woods behind the house after one of the suspects fired a handgun at the homeowner.

    No one was hit by gunfire.

    Almost immediately a deputy was able to corral one of the male suspects. About an hour later a female who was reportedly partially clothed emerged from the woods in front of another deputy who was positioned on Dees Road. This woman was taken by ambulance to a Meridian hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Calhoun said she would be held for questioning.

    The third suspect, a black man said to be about 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing around 250 pounds, was said to still be in the woods between Russell Mt. Gilead Road and Dees Road. A K-9 officer with the LCSD and its handler were deployed into the woods with other deputies to try and locate the suspect whom they believed to be armed.

    "During this search we found items in the woods we believe were taken from the home including several firearms," Calhoun said. "A mask was also found along with some clothing we think the third suspect may have been wearing earlier."

    Calhoun said the search for the third suspect was suspended around 12:45 p.m.

    LCSD authorities and officers with the Meridian Police Department were also looking into the possibility a fourth person thought to have been driving a green SUV was also involved somehow in the incident. MPD officers were told to be on the lookout for the vehicle in Meridian. There was no word as of late Wednesday if the SUV or the person thought to have been associated with the vehicle were found.

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