Deputy shoots distraught woman in self-defense

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A woman was in the hospital Friday night after a Jackson County sheriff's deputy allegedly shot her in the chest.  Authorities say it all happened outside Doggie Town pet grooming business in the Hurley community, just before 11 Friday morning.

"From what we understand, this was a domestic situation involving 3 females who were allegedly involved with one another," said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd.

It was apparently one of those women who walked out of the pet grooming business in distress Friday morning, pulled out a gun in the parking lot, and pointed it to her head.  That's when someone called 911, and a deputy went to the scene.

"From what he found at the scene, an unknown suspect had a pistol to her head, and she was screaming she was going to shoot," Byrd explained.  "So the officer told her to put the gun down.  She did not put the gun down.  She went and turned the gun toward the officer.  And that's when she got shot."

Byrd said the deputy's bullet struck the woman in the chest.  She was taken to Providence Hospital in Mobile, and later transported to USA Medical Center.  Byrd has not released the name of the woman or the deputy, but said it appears the deputy did the right thing.

"Of course the last thing any officer wants to do is to have to use deadly force," Byrd explained.  "When officers are trained, its a last resort.  And then when you've got a gun pointed at you and someone's indicating they're fixing to shoot you, you have to defend yourself."

The Sheriff's Department is investigating, and they aren't the only ones.  The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and the District Attorney's office are also looking into the incident.

"Anytime that we have an officer involved shooting, I will always call in an outside agency just to make sure that there is not any foul play of any type and to make sure the officer was justified in what he did," Byrd explained.

Byrd said he expects to release more details as the investigation continues.

WLOX spoke with Doggie Town's owners Friday afternoon.  They said the woman knows one of the groomers who works there, but she is not affiliated with the business.

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