More details released in deadly state trooper chase, shootout

Published 8:03 am Friday, February 8, 2019

A Mississippi Gulf Coast man is dead and two other people are facing criminal charges after a high-speed chase Wednesday where officers say someone shot at them.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Capt. Johnny Poulos said the chase began after someone in a Dodge Durango SUV attempted a carjacking at a gas station on the northern edge of Biloxi. A trooper tried to stop the Durango, but the driver fled with two passengers.

A miles-long chase ensued across state highways and through residential neighborhoods with troopers and sheriff’s deputies pursuing.

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“So, I’m standing there, and they come ripping around the corner probably as fast as they can go and just come straight down past my house down the street,” D’Iberville resident Chris Alexander told WLOX-TV .

As the SUV sped north into Stone County, Poulos said someone began shooting at officers, with troopers returning fire.

The chase ended near Ramsey Springs, where Stone County coroner Wayne Flurry said driver Miles Dylan Cooper lost control, ran into a ditch and flipped.

Troopers said someone shot at officers again as they exited the wrecked vehicle.

Officers fired back, killing Cooper and wounding two passengers — 24-year-old Charlie Randolph Grissom of Kiln and 35-year-old Tarrah Lynn Owens of Saucier.

Cooper died before he could be taken to a hospital, while the other two were treated at a Biloxi hospital. Grissom and Owens are each charged with four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and were jailed in Stone County on Wednesday. It’s unclear if the two have seen a judge or have lawyers to speak for them.

Poulos said a weapon was found at the scene of the wreck.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Master Sgt. Justin Elkins told the Sun Herald that the agency won’t be releasing footage from body-worn or patrol car cameras.

“It is now a criminal investigation and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is collecting evidence,” Elkins said. “All of their findings will be turned over to the district attorney’s office.”

The troopers are on administrative leave until an internal investigation is complete, Elkins said. Poulos said the case is likely to be presented to a grand jury.