MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley is asking for the public’s patience as authorities continue to investigate an officer-involved shooting. The shooting happened Thursday, resulting in the death of a suspect who was reportedly armed.
The shooting occurred just before sunset near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 2nd Street. Multiple witnesses gathered at the scene.
Police identified the suspect as Toussaint Diamon Sims, 27, on Friday.
According to a release from the Moss Point Police Department, at around 6:30 p.m., officers received information that Sims, wanted on multiple felony warrants, was located at a convenience store in Pascagoula.
Officers of both the Pascagoula and Moss Point police departments attempted to arrest Sims at that location, but police said he fled in a vehicle, leading officers on a pursuit through Moss Point.
The pursuit ended on 2nd Street when the suspect’s vehicle became disabled. Sims then fled from officers on foot. During the foot pursuit, police said Sims displayed a firearm in a threatening manner. His actions caused the pursing officer to discharge his firearm, which fatally wounded Sims. Witnesses
The chief said the officer involved, whose identity is behind withheld until the case is presented to the grand jury, has been placed on leave.
“Just to clarify the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave with pay per Moss Point Police Department policy pending completion of the investigation," said Chief Ashley.
In a written statement released Friday morning, Chief Ashley said:
“I am truly saddened by the events that occurred involving the August 8, 2019, incident. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragic incident. We are asking for the media and the public’s assistance while this investigation proceeds.
It is extremely important that we do not make assumptions about what occurred based on preliminary and conflicting statements. We all want an investigation that is professional, thorough, timely, and credible.
I am confident that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and the Jackson County District Attorneys office will complete such an investigation. We will release names of the individuals involved when we can. At this time, no other information will come from the Moss Point Police Department."
No officers were injured during the incident, said the chief.
As is standard anytime there is an officer-involved shooting, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is the lead investigating agency. According to MBI Public Affairs Officer Chase Elkins, no additional information is being released at this time since it is an active investigation.
Several law enforcement agencies were on the scene Thursday night, including Pascagoula Police, Gautier Police, and Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies. Moss Point Mayor Mario King was also there, and he released a statement on Friday.
“As Mayor, I would like to extend my condolences to everyone affected by last night’s August 8, 2019) tragic incident involving a Moss Point Police Officer that resulted in a fatal shooting. . . I understand and I am aware of the tension that our country is plagued with surrounding police-involved shootings. I am confident that our state and county agencies will work to ensure that justice is served and the City of Moss Point collectively will do our part to fully cooperate with the investigative process.”
WLOX is trying to gather more answers about what happened leading up to the shooting. We will update this story as soon as new details are learned.