The three day manhunt to find Mark Kee Brown is over. A team of investigators captured the jail escapee in Gulfport Tuesday morning. And by noon, they returned him to the Harrison County jail.
Brown was apprehended in a FEMA trailer near Hewes Avenue. When he was caught, he was wearing a camouflage shirt, and no shoes or socks.
"I'm here for no, no reason. I'm here for no reason," the suspect defiantly said as the barefoot and shackled fugitive was escorted back to prison.
The tone was much different at a news conference moments later.
"We have good news. We do have Brown back in custody," Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said. "He was arrested at about 11:39 a.m. from an anonymous tip on 911."
That tip led authorities to a FEMA trailer on 26 1/2 Street. What the tip was, Sheriff Brisolara wouldn't say. But it was enough to send 30 officers to central Gulfport.
Brown's arrest stunned the unsuspecting neighbors who live on 26 1/2 Street.
"I saw all the cops, I just couldn't believe it," thought Robert McQueen.
Mr. McQueen lives next door to the trailer where Brown was reportedly hiding. As he was going to his mailbox, he saw the police. Some were near the trailer. Others positioned themselves on the roof of a neighboring home. They all had weapons aimed toward the trailer.
"They had them pointed. I ain't never seen so many guns," remembered McQueen.
At just before noon, a collection of city, county, state and federal investigators approached the FEMA trailer.
"There was no problems. No scuffle or anything right at first," the sheriff said. "They did have to pry into the trailer to get him. And they subdued him according to policies and so forth. Got him, and got him back up here to the facility."
Once back at the jail where he escaped from three days earlier, Brown was put into an isolation cell.
"He is back in the Harrison County jail. And the Harrison County jail will remain under lockdown," the sheriff announced.
And it will stay that way until Brisolara feels comfortable that the facility is safe.
The sheriff said that because of an emergency order approved by Harrison County supervisors on Monday, security changes were already in the works to prevent another inmate from breaking out of the jail. The county approved $10 million for temporary housing, new cell doors, a better locking system, and new external cameras. The improvements will be phased in over a four year period.
For now, Sheriff Brisolara has canceled vacations, and reassigned off duty patrolmen to the jail.
"My staff is working 24 hours a day right now to maintain this level of security," he said.
An internal investigation is being done to determine how the escapees carried a 300 pound door past guards on Sunday morning, and then used it to bang through a wall and run off. The sheriff admitted during his news conference that the jail was understaffed when the inmates escaped. So far, none of the jailers on duty during the escape have been disciplined.