Suspect hospitalized after bomb scare in Bay St. Louis - - The News for South Mississippi

Suspect hospitalized after bomb scare in Bay St. Louis


By Al Showers - email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The Bay St. Louis Police Department is investigating a bizarre incident they first feared was a possible copycat of the recent terrorist bomb threat in New York City.

It happened shortly after 8am Wednesday morning at the GoCo Chevron gas station on the corner of Highway 90 and Bluemeadow Road.

Wednesday morning was anything but routine for workers at the Bay St. Louis station.

"It was very scary to us we were scared," said Store Manager Belinda Koerner.

She said it began when the driver of a truck pulled up to a gas pump. Workers said he was acting erratically.

" He drove up to pump four and walked away and went to our diesel pump five and six and stood up on the white things waving his hands up in the air like he was trying to tell somebody something," Koerner said.

She said he then took off running east on Highway 90.

"He acted like he was actually on something or maybe not all the way there."

So Koerner called the police.

"Then all of the sudden they told us we had to close the store and get everybody out."

Police Chief Tom Burleson said, "As a precautionary measure, we notified the Biloxi Police Department and asked that they send their bomb squad over just to be sure everything was safe."

A robot first checked out the truck, then a member of the bomb squad went in.

"Found nothing out of the ordinary with the vehicle," the chief said.

The driver, 24-year-old James Walker of Hancock County, was found running down Highway 90 back toward the Chevron gas station.

"Talking to the guy, he's got some issues. He is at the hospital getting some psychiatric treatment," Burleson said.

Police shut down a portion of Highway 90 for a short while, and put two nearby schools, Bay High and Bay-Waveland Middle School, on lockdown.

So far no charges have been filed against Walker. 

"That's all being considered and I'm not sure if there will be charges filed against him or not. I'm glad it worked out the way it did and I glad the public had the patience to let us do our job."

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