Man shot, wounded at Laurel Howard Industries plant, suspect arrested in Stone Co.
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Laurel Police Department confirmed that a suspect is in custody after an active shooter situation took place at Howard Industries in Laurel.
According to the Jones County Inmate Roster, 20-year-old Keith Hinton of Purvis has been booked into the Jones County Adult Detention Center. He has been charged with attempted murder.
Laurel Police Chief Tommy Cox said Hinton is expected to have his initial appearance in court on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The suspect was captured without incident by the Stone County Sheriff’s Office and Mississippi Highway Patrol at a home on Wire Road in Perkinston around 10:15 a.m. He is being charged by LPD with one count of aggravated assault.
According to an SCSO investigator, the sheriff’s office received information about him being in the county around 10 a.m. after BOLOs were issued by the Jones County Emergency Operations Center and the Forrest and Lamar County Sheriff’s Offices.
Howard Industries has issued a statement in response to the active shooter situation:
Earlier this morning, a Howard Industries employee was shot and injured at the main transformer plant in Laurel, MS. The incident is under investigation, and we are fully cooperating and working closely with local law enforcement.
The safety and well-being of our employees and community are our first priority. Our thoughts and prayers are with our injured employee and his family.
Cox said the incident is being labeled as a targeted shooting, as they believe both Hinton and the victim knew each other.
In his report of the incident, Cox said officers responded to a shooting complaint from the company’s Pendorff Road campus in Laurel around 8:28 a.m.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Cox said he was taken to South Central Regional Medical Center and then on to Forrest General Hospital for treatment.
The victim was taken to those hospitals by EMServ Ambulance Service.
After the shooting, Hinton fled inside the plant, according to the LPD. However, Cox confirmed that no shots were fired into or inside the building.
Employees were leaving the plant as law enforcement was entering, causing a chaotic scene that Cox said officers treated as an active shooter incident until they could safely determine the suspect had fled the scene.
Cox said that video footage showed that Hinton had left the plant and driven away during the chaos. According to the multiple BOLOs, Hinton drove away in a 1986 Chevy (originally reported as a GMC) white-gray pickup truck with a Stone County tag.
Officers helped security clear the plant of pedestrians and vehicles after the incident.
Hinton is currently being held at the Stone County Correctional facility until he is sent back to Laurel to be booked into jail.
Multiple agencies responded to the situation to assist LPD. Below is a list of the agencies that responded:
- Jones County Sheriff’s Department
- Laurel High School resource officers
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Mississippi Highway Patrol Troops J and K
“This is another great example of how law enforcement comes together in these situations to help keep our citizens safe,” Cox said.
According to Jones County Jail documents, Hinton was previously arrested by the Jones County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 21, 2022, on one count of DUI - 1st offense, driving without insurance and a seatbelt violation.
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