Man shot by deputy in standoff

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A domestic disturbance on Highway 84 turned deadly Monday,leaving a Bogue Chitto man dead and a 2-week old baby hospitalizedat University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said the disturbance beganaround 11:20 a.m. Monday. It ended when a deputy shot a man who wasattempting to drown his daughter in a pond near a residence at 449Highway 84 West.

Lincoln County Coroner Clay McMorris said Curtney Gayten, 26, of311 Chestnut St. in Bogue Chitto, was pronounced dead by emergencymedical technicians at the scene at 12:09 p.m.

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“I can confirm that there was a baby that is at the hospitalwith injuries that occurred as a result of the actions of(Gayten),” Rushing said.

Witnesses and family members at the scene said the man wasinvolved in a domestic dispute with the child’s mother and hadtaken the baby to the pond. Witnesses said he was holding her underthe water attempting to drown her when the deputy told him to putthe gun down and come out of the water.

“The subject was in the water, reportedly with the child,”Rushing said. “The officer couldn’t see the child because thesubject was holding her under the water.”

Witnesses said when the man pointed his gun at the officer, thedeputy shot him. The sheriff did not identify the deputy.

“We are not releasing the name of the officer pending thecompletion of this investigation,” said Rushing.

Rushing said Gayten, the firearm and the baby were found duringunderwater searches by sheriff’s department officials and firstresponders.

Witnesses said the child was resuscitated on the scene by DeputyKrysten Butler and Capt. Dustin Bairfield, who performed CPR untilthe ambulance arrived. Emergency workers said the efforts of thedeputies may have saved her life.

The baby, whose identity was not released, is still in theIntensive Care Unit at University Medical Center in Jackson, whereshe was transported by ambulance after the incident.

Gayten’s body has been sent to the Mississippi State Crime Labfor autopsy, McMorris said.

Rushing said there will be a probe of the incident by theMississippi Bureau of Investigation. He indicated that is standardprocedure any time an officer has to use lethal force.

“The deputy has been placed on leave with pay at this time,”said Rushing, adding that the officer was shaken but is doing allright.

Rushing said, in his time with Lincoln County, he’s never seen adeputy-involved shooting.

“As far as I can remember, I’ve been here for 12 years and thisis the first one I can remember being involved in,” Rushingsaid.

McMorris said he has not been involved with a police-relatedshooting since he joined the coroner’s office over 20 yearsago.

“This is a first since I’ve been with the coroner’s office since1985,” he said. “This is the first time that I’ve seen one inLincoln County.”

Gayten’s arrangements, which are incomplete, are being handledby R.E. Tyler Funeral Home.