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Police Chief: Woman shot by officers had gun to her head, pointed it at police

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 8:03 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 12:32 PM CST
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - The woman shot by Moss Point police officers Tuesday is expected to recover, said a statement released Wednesday by Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley.

Officers were called at 5pm Tuesday to a local convenience store for a report of a woman holding a gun to her head, said Ashley. When officers arrived, they said the woman was standing outside her car near the gas pumps. When they attempted to speak with her, she reportedly removed the gun from her purse, placed it to her head. Ashley said she then got in the car and drove away while continuing to hold the gun to her head.

Officers followed her to a residence on Eastwood Drive. Once there, she sat in the car in the driveway before going into the house. Shortly after, she came out of the house and began walking down the street, still with the gun to her head.

Residents and officers pleaded with her to put the gun down but she refused, continuing to walk down Eastwood Drive before turning on Meadow Drive, said Ashley. Again, people tried getting her to put the gun down to no avail.

Suddenly, the woman moved the gun away from her head and pointed it directly at officers, forcing them to fire on her, said the police chief.

She was taken to Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula where she underwent surgery for her injuries. Ashley said she is expected to recover.

The shooting, which was caught on camera by a civilian, began circulating Tuesday night. That video, which we are intentionally not sharing in this story right now, shows a standoff with a woman in the front yard of a home. The area is dark with a few street lights, and you can hear onlookers yelling to both the woman and the officers on scene.

The Facebook Live shows the woman being shot, and the heart wrenching reaction from one witness. It is disturbing to watch, but will no doubt be a critical part of the investigation now being handled by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

WLOX News has reached out to the owner of that video. We’ve asked for permission to use that footage in our reporting. Our legal teams says we must get written permission from the person who recorded the video before we can use it on newscasts or on WLOX.com.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on modified duty pending the investigation, which is being conducted by Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.

WLOX reached out to MBI for more information before MPPD released a statement. MBI responded to the request by confirming that an officer-involved shooting was being investigated.

“The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, in Jackson County on Eastwood Drive, Moss Point, MS,” reads the statement from Chris Vignes, Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Questions that remain unanswered are how many officers were at the scene at the time of the shooting, as well as how many of them actually fired their weapon. It’s also unclear how many total shots were fired or if the police had any previous interactions with the woman prior to Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021.

MBI will continue to investigate and gather evidence, then share it with the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office, said Ashley.

Moss Point Police Department was assisted at the scene by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Pascagoula Police Department, Pascagoula Fire Department, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations. Anonymous tips can also be made to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers online or by calling at 877-787-5898.

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