GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A news release from the Harrison County Sheriff's Department says wanted suspect Ernie Lizana fired at officers overnight. Harrison County's sheriff says officers returned fire, killing the suspect on 23rd Avenue in Gulfport.
Sheriff Troy Peterson said his narcotics division and the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team had a tip Lizana was near the 2800 block of 23rd Avenue. When they went there just before 1:00 this morning, the sheriff said Lizana ran and started shooting.
Lizana was wanted on an aggravated assault charge because of a weekend shooting in Gulfport. Officers believe he shot a woman in the throat early Saturday morning. The crime happened on 33rd Avenue. At last check, the victim was in serious condition at a New Orleans hospital.
The sheriff says the suspect was a known drug user. WLOX News archives indicate Lizana escaped from police custody in 2013 while being treated at a Gulfport hospital. That arrest stemmed from a drug charge. In 2016, he was accused of kidnapping. The story posted on WLOX.com said Lizana kidnapped a woman as she took out her trash.
Because an officer fired at and killed Lizana, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations has been asked to oversee the investigation.