Homeowner said Gulfport shooting suspect 'seemed nice' - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Homeowner said Gulfport shooting suspect 'seemed nice'

Chief Papania speaks with a homeowner about the incident. (Photo source: WLOX) Chief Papania speaks with a homeowner about the incident. (Photo source: WLOX)
Police and crime scene investigators scoured the scene for hours. (Photo source: WLOX) Police and crime scene investigators scoured the scene for hours. (Photo source: WLOX)
This is the home where the suspect was shot. (Photo source: WLOX) This is the home where the suspect was shot. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Gulfport Police officers responded to a call of suspicious activity outside a home at Government Street and Lyndell Boulevard Wednesday. That's where they say they found a man wielding a knife. 

"The male started closing the gap on the officer. The officer repeatedly told him to stop and drop the knife. The individual failed to. The officer shot him multiple times," said Chief Papania.

The young man did not live in the home where he was shot, but the homeowner met him on Tuesday when the young man approached him looking to do work to make some cash.

"He looked like a really nice kid, and I told him, sure, I would help him out. So, he spent eight hours there yesterday and worked really hard," said James Birdsong, who is the homeowner.

During the incident, the homeowner was out on a shopping trip, but was quite surprised when he returned to learn that the young man who had been so helpful had been shot.

"We fed him lunch and supper and washed his clothes for him. So, that means I'm not a very good judge of character," said Birdsong.

To other residents, the caution tape and blue lights seemed out of place due to the quiet nature of the residential area.

"I bought my house about two years ago here, over two years ago. It's a quiet neighborhood. The lady who lives across the street is 97, and my neighbors are really nice folks. Again, it's really quiet. There's really not a whole lot of activity," said John Michael Wilds.

Several Gulfport police officers as well as Biloxi crime scene units responded and scoured the scene for evidence for hours. Chief Papania offered these words about the shooting.

"The best news is my officer is safe," said Papania.

The suspect was taken to a local hospital for his injuries, and underwent surgery. There's no word on his current condition.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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