A man died in a shootout with law enforcement officers in Pontotoc County Monday night following a high-speed chase that originated in Union County.
The man had not been formally identified Tuesday morning pending investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and a release from the Pontotoc County medical examiner-investigator but officials said at least some family members had been notified.
Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said the incident began when one of his deputies stopped the suspect for a traffic offense about 6:30 p.m. on County Road 102 in the Lone Star area.
The suspect got out of the vehicle but squared off at the deputy about the time a second deputy showed up, indicating he did not want to cooperate.
The suspect then jumped back into the car and sped away, the sheriff said. Edwards said the suspect fired twice at deputies and the chase proceeded to Hwy. 346 in Pontotoc County in the Thaxton area, on to Hwy. 278 back toward Pontotoc, to Hwy. 6 and then on Hwy. 9.
The suspect collided with another vehicle but did not stop. Edwards said he did not yet know whether the occupant or occupants of the other vehicle were injured.
Finally, the suspect pulled into a driveway and got out, brandishing a weapon and firing at deputies and MHP troopers who had joined the chase. The officers returned fire, killing the suspect, the sheriff said.
Edwards said the suspect had lived in Union County in the past but he did not know whether he still lived here, and added that law enforcement had dealt with him in the past.
It was not immediately clear why the suspect decided to flee.
The case is being investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation as is standard practice for an officer-involved shooting.
Edwards did not identify the officers involved but said more information should be available from the MBI after they completed their initial investigation at the scene.