Alleged Gunman Killed, Victim Seriously Injured Following Wal-Mart Shooting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/29/05

Alleged Gunman Killed, Victim Seriously Injured Following Wal-Mart Shooting

The alleged triggerman in a drive-by shooting at the D'Iberville Wal-Mart died Tuesday night. The man he is accused of shooting is in the hospital with a bullet wound to the face.

Gunfire broke out at the D'Iberville store just after 6pm Tuesday. Shortly after, the alleged gunman fled the scene.

A Harrison County Sheriff's deputy spotted the suspect's car around 8pm in Saucier and followed him down a dirt road off East Wortham, near Campground Road. That's where authorities say the suspect suddenly stopped his vehicle and shot himself in the head.

Deputies say he died at the scene. The suspect's name will not be released until the next of kin are notified.

Joe Ryan was heading toward Wal-Mart to meet his wife Tuesday evening, but the Latimer resident got a little more than he bargained for before he even got out of the parking lot.

"A gentleman shot a guy who was just loading up some groceries in his vehicle. Just called out his name. The fellow loading up his vehicle turned around, the guy fired a shot, and then drove off real fast. He nearly hit a couple people on the way out of the lot."

Jerry Cratton and his wife Janet had just pulled up, waiting to take the victim's parking spot as the scene unfolded. They managed to get a good description of the gunman and the car he was driving.

"When he went past us, I thought he was going to run over one of the Wal-Mart employees out here getting buggies. So, I turned around and looked and got his tag number, and he was just heading off that way."

Witnesses say the victim was shot in the chin, but first aid was administered to him.

"He was talking, he was alert. He seemed like he was going to be okay. I knew one of the paramedics. When he was getting ready to leave, I asked him if the guy was going to be okay. He said he was probably going to be fine. I hope," Cratton said.

As for the witnesses, this is sure to be a shopping day they won't soon forget.

"It was scary. You see someone get shot in front of you, you think, 'Are we next?'" Cratton asked.

The man who was shot in the parking lot was taken to Biloxi Regional Medical Center and was listed in serious condition Tuesday night. Authorities say the shooting may have been over a domestic dispute.

by Toni Miles

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