Pascagoula neighbors shocked by deadly shooting

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - There are new details tonight surrounding the Pascagoula Police shooting that left one man dead and an officer injured Monday.  Investigators say 55 year old Grady Wells was a military veteran and the son of a former Jackson County Deputy.  They say Wells' dad died Saturday and he was extremely upset.  Police shot and killed Wells after they said he attacked three officers with a sword and tried to run over a fourth officer. Residents in neighborhood where it all happened said they are still in shock.

There is hardly any traffic or noise on Live Oak Avenue in Pascagoula. Neighbors said Monday, it was a different scene. Father and Son John and Jeff Simpson said the piercing sound of bullets filled the air and police where everywhere.

"It was like pop, pop, pop, just like that," John Simpson said about the gunfire.

"It sounded like fire crackers, but of course they were not," Jeff Simpson said.

A few doors down at First Baptist Church Learning Center, Director Shellie Beauchamp said her school went into an immediate lockdown.

"We were a nervous wreck. We just have to keep ourselves leveled, and do what is best for the kids."

Pascagoula Police said officers shot and killed Wells after he threatened them twice with a machete, and Wells drove his Mercedes into a police car and motorcycle.

"This is Pascagoula. We don't have things like this that happen, but unfortunately we do," Beauchamp said.

This deadly shooting has left community members in shock and talking about what happened.

"Anytime somebody comes out and attacks you with a weapon, you have to defend yourself. I am not going to second guess them (police) on that part.

Investigators said they're not sure what lead Wells to threaten and attack police.

Police point out that family members told them that Wells was in Jackson County because his father had died this past weekend.  Neighbors on Live Oak said the whole ordeal saddens them.

"The man might have had some issues, evidently to go after an officer with a knife. He definitely has something wrong with them," Jeff Simpson said.

Police are currently interviewing all witnesses who observed the shooting.

Pascagoula Deputy Chief Kenny Johnson identified Curtis Morse as the patrolman who was on the motorcycle that was hit in the police pursuit of Grady Wells. Johnson said Morse is recuperating at home from minor injuries.  Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd says Well's father, Daniel Wells, was 87 years old when he died.  Byrd says he worked for the sheriff's department more than 30 years ago.

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