Family of man shot by deputy at Mississippi courthouse seeks answers

Published 6:02 am Thursday, January 21, 2021

Family members of a man who was killed by a deputy outside the Harrison County Courthouse last week say they are being left in the dark about details in the fatal shooting.

Reginald Johnson, 48, was shot and killed outside the Harrison County courthouse in Biloxi on Friday afternoon. Both a Biloxi police officer and a Harrison County deputy were involved, officials said. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating, as it always does when police officers shoot someone on the job.

The Biloxi Sun-Herald reports that Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer reportedly told family members that he could give little details about the autopsy, that has been completed because the case is under investigation.

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Switzer told the Sun Herald he had to check with MBI before disclosing where Johnson was shot and how many times, because the case is under investigation.

Family members say they have not been contacted directly by law enforcement, including officials form the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office or MBI.

Harrison County Sheriff Peterson confirmed to WLOX News in Biloxi that the shooting involved both the Biloxi Police Department and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department.

Officials from MBI have received few details in the case. According to MBI, a Harrison County Sheriff’s deputy received information of a disturbance taking place outside the courthouse. Authorities said the deputy made contact with Johnson, who displayed a knife and began to advance on the deputy. The deputy discharged his service weapon striking Johnson, who was pronounced dead at the scene.