Jackson County DA calls for calm in the wake of football player's death

BILOXI (WLOX) - A call for calm tonight in George County,  after four days of rumors and speculation in the death of football star Billey Joe Johnson. District Attorney Tony Lawrence was due to meet with Johnson's family today to discuss the investigation into the death of their 17 year old son. However, Lawrence says the family could not make the meeting. Johnson died Monday of what the George County Sheriff described as a self inflicted gunshot wound. The shooting occured after a deputy stopped Johnson for a traffic violation on Highway 26.

Because a deputy was present, the Missisisppi Bureau of Investigation was called in. Those circumstances have also fueled doubt and speculation in the comminuty. In a statement this afternoon, the district attorney said  "I will not release any information until I have met with and discussed this investigation with the family. I believe the family should see before the public what is authorized by law to be released." Lawrence went on to say, "I caution members of the public to remain calm, avoid speculation and rumors and allow this investigation to proceed." The NAACP has called for an independent autopsy in Johnson's death.