Biloxi Officer Talks About December Shooting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/30/03

Biloxi Officer Talks About December Shooting

Glen Kerley is a Biloxi K-9 officer. He's also on the department's firearm training team.

"I don't do this job because I have to," he said. "This is something I really, really love to do."

Kerley's love of police work was put to the test on December 15, 2002. Early that morning, he chased a suspect through the Mustang Sally's parking lot. On Thursday, Kerley returned to the scene.

"We ran all the way from across the parking lot to right through here," he said, pointing to a spot near Highway 90.

During the chase, the suspect and the officer exchanged gunfire. Kerley blasted seven shots out of his 45 caliber automatic. One shot injured the shooting suspect's shoulder.

"You've got to understand, you've got a second to decide," he said. "First of all, what are they doing? Is this situation life threatening? Do I need to defend myself? Do I need to defend somebody else? You've got literally less than a second to decide all that."

A grand jury determined Officer Kerley had a legitimate reason to shoot at the suspect.

"It isn't something you want to do," Kerley said. "It's certainly something, somebody has to do it. I put myself here. I've taken that responsibility."

So have the 21 cadets at the Gulfport firing range. The Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy students were going through firearms training. Instructors taught the cadets to fire their weapons only when they felt their lives, or the lives of somebody in the community were in jeopardy.

"They're trained to stop a threat," said Sgt. Alan Green. He's the lead firearms instructor. "We never shoot to kill," he said. "All we're trying to do is stop whatever it is that they're doing, that we told them not to do."

Officer Kerley said that was his mission on December 15. And it will be his mission the next time he's confronted with a situation where his gun comes out of its holster.

"You just kind of go and do what you were trained to do," said Kerley.

While his case was being investigated, Glen Kerley spent one week on administrative leave. Authorities have not released any information about the teenage suspect Kerley shot.

by Brad Kessie

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