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Authorities probe death of ball player

A Copiah-Lincoln Community College basketball player was founddead in his vehicle in Morton Thursday after missing for almost aday, Scott County emergency officials said.

Perry Brandt Hood, 18, of Hazlehurst, was found in his truck onInterstate 20 Thursday around noon. He had apparently died of agunshot wound.

Scott County Coroner Joe Bradford said an autopsy would beperformed at the State Crime Lab to determine if the gunshot wasself-inflicted or if there is reason to suspect foul play. Resultsof the autopsy will not be available until Friday afternoon.

“They’d been looking for him since yesterday,” Bradford saidThursday night. “A highway patrolman spotted his truck parked atexit 77 at Morton and found him there.”

Authorities were on the lookout for Hood after a missing personsreport was filed Wednesday. Bradford said Hood could have died anytime between late that night and early Thursday morning.

Staff Sgt. Ronnie Carter of Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop Hsaid the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is conducting a probeinto Hood’s death. He said such an investigation is routine anytime there is a death that is not determined to be by naturalcauses.

“MBI is investigating it and before we could definitely sayanything they’d have to finish the investigation,” he said. “Icouldn’t comment on definite cause of death, because MBI will haveto get all the information back from the crime lab.”

Hood is the son of Copiah County District Three Supervisor PerryHood and his wife Linda. He was a freshman at Co-Lin, where heplayed guard on the basketball team.

Co-Lin Men’s Basketball Coach Dennis Sims said he recruited Hoodand had always been impressed by the young man’s manners.

“He could shoot the ball, and he was a really nice and politeperson,” he said. “He was a special young man that I really enjoyedcoaching for a very short period of time. He was just special.”

Co-Lin Public Relations Director Natalie Davis said not only theCo-Lin family, but the whole town of Wesson was grieved by theloss.

“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Brandt and our thoughtsand prayers are with the Hood family at this time,” she said. “It’sbeen a real shock, as it always is when you’re in a small communitylike we are, where everyone knows everyone.

“Everyone here’s very close-knit, and I know among our students,and even the whole town of Wesson, everyone is just heartbroken,”she continued.

He graduated from Wesson Attendance Center, where he averaged22.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. He was selectedto The DAILY LEADER’s Dream Team and as All-District 6-2A Player ofthe Year last year.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.