Suspect identified in shootout with Harrison County deputies

Suspect identified in shootout with Harrison County deputies
James Epperson Jr. (Photo source: Harrison County Jail Docket)
James Epperson Jr. (Photo source: Harrison County Jail Docket)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Pass Christian resident Wade Dean was having a normal Sunday when he suddenly heard gunshots fired from the home next door.

"Well, it will get your nerves pumping and your adrenaline pumping," said Dean.

Dean's neighbor, James Millard Epperson Jr., is now in custody.

Officers were responding to an attempted suicide by Epperson at his home off of Firetower Rd. when gunshots rang out.

"Several rounds hit the car. We're still trying to figure out where all the rounds went from him shooting back at us," said Sheriff Troy Peterson.

Peterson says Epperson fired shots toward the deputy, near a neighbor's house.

"From there it sounded like a western gun fight. I mean, it was just back and forth," said Dean.

Officers returned fire and hit Epperson in the leg. He was treated at Garden Park Medical and released into police custody.

"It's nothing like I've ever seen before. I mean, you see it on TV all the time, but to experience it yourself is just a totally different scenario," added Dean. "Especially with somebody that you've sat down and had a drink with, and hung out with, and seemed like somewhat of an ordinary guy."
 
According to Dean, Epperson fired seven or eight shots toward him and the officer. Luckily, neither were injured.

Epperson has been charged with one count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He's currently is being held in lieu of a $100,000 dollar bond set by Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray.

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