HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Hancock County man accused of shooting a friend faces murder charges. And his bond was set Thursday morning at more than a million dollars.
As WLOX News first reported Tuesday, Gary Topham allegedly shot his friend, then shot at officers while engaged in a standoff with sheriff deputies for more than two hours.
The commotion rocked what is normally a quiet neighborhood. Yellow crime scene tape and a sheriff's deputy standing guard offered the only clues of the violence that took place at a mobile home on Deer Wood Road just off of Firetower Road in the Fenton Community.
" I never saw this coming," said Shane Anderson. Anderson lives across the street from where the shooting happened. He said he had befriended Gary Topham who moved to the neighborhood after hurricane Katrina. "I know all the neighbors up and down the street and to have something like this happen right across the street, was just way out of character."
Anderson said when he heard gunshots Tuesday night and the commotion that followed, he ran to his neighbors house. He saw Bruce Necaise bleeding and tried to help.
But the 42-year old Necaise died overnight at a Alabama Hospital. Anderson said Necaise was renting a room from the man now accused of killing him.
"I'm very shocked," said Anderson.
He said he didn't know Topham as a violent person, but was aware he had a tough couple of years in his personal life. "With the unemployment situation he turned around and started getting a little depressed," explained Anderson.
Why things erupted in gunfire and a standoff with law enforcers is not clear. After two hours Topham surrendered, but only after deputies fired tear gas into the barn he barricaded himself in.
"It kept us on the edge for quite a while," said Chief Deputy Don Bass.
Sheriff's officials say in addition to murder, the suspect faces several other charges for shooting at law enforcement officers. "He threatened the lives of a number of police officers out there. So we have to determine which police officers were in the direct line of threat," said Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan.
He went onto to say so far that number stands at four counts of aggravated assault on a police officer.
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