The Latest: Mississippi ex-con shot by officer after brandishing guns, suspect in shooting, carjacking

Published 2:10 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A man shot a woman in Louisiana, stole her car and left her wounded before driving to Mississippi where he was shot multiple times early Tuesday by a police officer, authorities said.

A Woodville, Mississippi, police officer shot 28-year-old Gerry Byrd multiple times in the chest before 3 a.m., Police Chief Jessie Stewart told WAFB-TV, after Byrd charged at officers.

Stewart said Byrd tried to drive the stolen Acura sedan through the glass storefront, got out, waved two pistols in the air and “slapped around” the only clerk on duty. A bystander called police.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’m just so thankful that this wasn’t any worse than what it was,” Stewart said. “You know with one female in there working that time of the night by herself. It was just lucky there was a bystander on the outside and saw this happening and he was able to call the Sheriff’s Department.”

Witnesses said Byrd was yelling that he wasn’t afraid to shoot the clerk because he had just shot another woman, and Stewart speculated Byrd was “under the influence of a strong drug.”

“He was so high on something, we couldn’t get anything out of him,” Stewart said.

Byrd was taken by helicopter to a Baton Rouge hospital with life-threatening injuries. His condition wasn’t immediately known.

Police in Baton Rouge said Byrd was riding with a 26-year-old woman from the Natchez area on Interstate 10 when he shot her and stole the Acura. They believe he then drove to Woodville, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) north. The woman was found walking along the interstate, wounded. Baton Rouge Police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said the woman is expected to survive.

Byrd was recently released from a Mississippi state prison after serving time for burglary and possession of contraband. Authorities said he was wearing an ankle monitor when he was shot.