Pearl River County jail escape leads to police involved shooting

Courtesy: Pearl River County Jail
Courtesy: Pearl River County Jail
Courtesy: Pearl River County Jail
Courtesy: Pearl River County Jail

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Hancock County neighborhood woke up to the sounds of gun fire Saturday night. The Mississippi Highway Patrol says a state trooper, acting on information about an escaped inmate, pulled over a car on Highway 90 shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday night. As the trooper approached the vehicle, the driver sped away and a chase began.

The Highway Patrol says a road block was set up and officers fired on the car to disabled the vehicle. Troopers say the car came to a stop, then caught fire.

On Sunday, Hancock County Sheriff's deputies turned traffic away from Lakeshore Road, a street that the night before neighbors say erupted in gun fire.

Tony Cannestro said he heard as many as 25 gun shots.

"The first four or five shots were consistent. It was the same shot and the same shot over and over and over. I heard a different kind of shot. About five or six of them. Then rapid fire coming. Sounded like coming from the same kind of gun," Cannestro said.

Fourteen hours after the shooting, investigators finished processing the crime scene and allowed WLOX-TV to see what was left of a charred vehicle. A neighbor who heard the sirens said he went to see what the commotion was about.

"I heard the police run down the road. When they were going down the road, they were flying. So I went out there to look because my son wasn't home, and I worried about him," Chris Bermond said. "I took the car down the road to go by my shop to see if he went down there, and there was a car in the middle of the road. And about eight, ten deputies down there. Highway Patrol, Pearl River was down there.  I couldn't turn around because they had all crowded around me. "

Bermond said at one point there were as many as 40 squad cars at the scene, and he watched the suspect's vehicle burn.

"It started off small, and they [the officers] didn't really worry about it. After a few minutes it just took over, and it was engulfed in flames. They didn't even worry about it," Bermond said. "They were just worried about getting that guy up off the road. He was handcuffed and laying in the road. And about 15 minutes later, the ambulance came and picked him up."

The Highway Patrol said the Pearl River County jail escapee was 31-year-old Scooter Robinson. Robinson was taken to Memorial Hospital in Gulfport to be treated for a superficial gun shot wound to the leg.

He was at another hospital on Saturday when deputies say he escaped by jumping into the car of his girlfriend, 39-year-old Michelle Morris. Morris was also captured and arrested. She is in the Pearl River County Jail.

The Waveland Police Department, Hancock County Sheriff's Department, Pearl River County Sheriff's Department and the Highway Patrol all assisted in the traffic stop. The investigation was done through the State Bureau of Investigations and the District Attorney's office.