STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Authorities have identified the three people accused of leading police on a high-speed chase across two counties Wednesday.
Stone County Coroner Wayne Flurry said Miles Dylan Cooper, 25 of Gulfport, was killed after being shot by law enforcement during an exchange of gunfire with state troopers.
Two other suspects in the vehicle were also injured during the gunfire. Charlie Randolph Grissom, 24, and Tarrah Lynn Owens, 35, were taken to Garden Park Hospital, where they were treated for gunshot wounds. After being released from the hospital, they were taken to the Stone County jail to await initial appearance. Grissom, from Kiln, and Owens, from Saucier, are held on four charges each of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers.
Flurry told WLOX Thursday morning that Cooper was driving the car, but stressed that it’s not yet clear who in the vehicle was shooting at officers.
Chase Elkins with the Mississippi Highway Patrol said the pursuit started at the intersection of Hwy. 605 and Hwy. 67. It went south on 605, then cut over and eventually ended up on Hwy. 15. Troopers were approached by an individual who said the people in the vehicle being chased had attempted a carjacking, said Elkins.
The driver refused to stop when troopers tried to pull it over, said authorities. The pursuit continued through residential areas north into Stone County at speeds of up to 100 mph. As authorities pursued the car, Elkins said someone began firing shots at troopers.
Flurry said Cooper lost control of the vehicle, which crashed into a ditch and flipped. More shots were fired at troopers, said authorities, but it’s unclear whether just one or multiple suspects were firing them. The troopers returned fire, said Elkins, injuring two suspects and killing Cooper.
Andres Mari, the owner of Ramsey Springs General Store, heard the incident unfolding and was alarmed by everything that was going on.
“When you start hearing a lot of cop cars and you hear a lot of shooting all at one time you get very concerned," he said. “When you don’t have certainty about something, it’s a little scary to go to sleep that way.”
As calls and messages flooded the WLOX newsroom, witnesses reported seeing at least 30 law enforcement vehicles from multiple agencies.
“I was trying to count cop cars going by the house but I lost count,” one witness told WLOX.
Because this is an officer-involved shooting, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating. MBI said investigators are conducting interviews and gathering evidence, which will then be sent to the district attorney’s office.
As part of that investigation, Cooper’s body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office.