Thankful for police during standoff

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Monday’s standoff at an apartment complex in Brookhaven was shocking to say the least. That type of situation is uncommon anywhere, but especially in this small city.

Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell said he had never experienced an incident like this before.

Police originally arrived on scene because the suspect was threatening other residents. He then began firing at police officers. Dozens of shots rang out during the six-hour ordeal.

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Police tried negotiating with the shooter, but to no avail. Multiple law enforcement agencies were called to the scene, including a SWAT team from the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Unfortunately, the night ended with the death of the man who had holed up in the apartment.  While everyone involved had hoped to avoid that, police had no choice in the matter. The suspect’s bullets hit nearby cars and buildings, but thankfully no officers.

Two officers did receive minor injuries during the incident, and Bell said they were expected to be OK.

The shooter had four guns — long guns and pistols — and a “good bit of ammo” in his apartment, Bell said.

“We’re just fortunate that it turned out the way it turned out. I feel sorry for this young man’s family — but this was a choice he made,” he said. “I’m going to pray for them and pray for our officers.”

Bell is correct. When the suspect fired at officers, he put a series of events in motion that eventually led to his death. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is currently looking into the incident, as with any officer-involved shooting.

From everything we know, officers acted appropriately, professionally, and resorted to lethal measures when all other avenues had been exhausted.

We are thankful for the many law enforcement agencies that responded to the scene and put their lives at risk to protect Brookhaven.