HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Following an investigation by Biloxi crime scene investigators, Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson says that agency concluded there was no evidence that a second party was at the scene of a deputy-involved shooting in July.
"Current findings are inconclusive, meaning that cannot sustain....the allegations that took place that day. However, this case will remain an open Mississippi Bureau of Investigations case until other factual information is gained," said the sheriff during a news conference three weeks after the shooting incident.
On July 28, a Harrison County deputy was shot in the chest on East Jordan Rd. Officials spent weeks searching for a suspect only described as a white, middle-aged man with gray hair, who was reportedly driving an older model pickup truck. The deputy told officers that he was parked in his patrol cruiser when the suspect ambushed him.
The investigation by the Biloxi Police Department Crime unit has been completed, and is now closed.
"According to their reports, based on physical evidence found at the scene, the Biloxi Police Department Crime Scene Unit concluded that due to the absence of physical evidence, there were no findings that a second party at the scene where the altercation took place," said Peterson.
The new details came out at a late morning news conference with Sheriff Peterson and Warren Strain with the MBI. Despite those findings, MBI believes the deputy's weapon was fired after some sort of altercation.
With unanswered questions and lack of physical evidence, the investigation remains open.
"It was my sincere hope that by this time we would have a suspect in custody, or have more findings than we have. As I've stated before, evidence is what we rely on, and lack of is what we question. We go in the direction the investigation takes us," said Sheriff Peterson.
As for the injured deputy, the sheriff says he remains on paid, administrative leave.