24-hour manhunt ends after Mississippi murder suspect taken into custody

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A 24-hour manhunt for the suspect in a southwest Mississippi murder is over.

Michael Thomas, nicknamed “Traedo,” reportedly turned himself into officials at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in Natchez.

Thomas was seen being transported in a Natchez Police Department patrol car from the sheriff’s office just before 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Natchez and Adams County law enforcement officers worked into the night on a manhunt for Thomas, who is an alleged suspect in a Tuesday afternoon fatal shooting at the Holiday Apartment complex in Natchez.

Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry said officers were dispatched to the scene of the shooting at approximately 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the vicinity of Holiday Apartments, where a 33-year-old man, Johnny Ricardo Mason, age 33, had been shot.

Daughtry said other civilians, including children, were around when the shooting occurred.

“People were remodeling a building close by, just doing everyday normal activities. A mother and her kids were in a car right in between where stuff was going on. It was disheartening to see. Natchez is better than this. To shoot someone in broad daylight shows a complete disregard for human life.”

Police said Mason identified the shooter as Michael Thomas, an aspiring rap singer also called “Traedo,” before he died within a few hours later at Merit Health Natchez.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said Mason suffered a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen.

Thomas, a convicted felon, was previously sentenced to serve five years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge in 2018. He was released after having served three years. Shortly after his release, he was arrested again in June 2021 for allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend at gunpoint. Daughtry said the girlfriend “backpedaled” and wouldn’t press charges.

Calls were received late into the evening from people giving information of where Thomas might be, Daughtry said. As tips led the search outside of the city, Daughtry said Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies were quick to assist and help with the investigation.

“Big thanks to Sheriff (Travis) Patten and his guys yesterday,” he said. “It was a well-oiled machine with law enforcement working together. We were all over the county yesterday in one collaborative effort.”

Anyone who has information regarding Thomas’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-5565 or Southwest Mississippi Regional Crime Stoppers at 888-442-5001.