Mississippi law enforcement launches manhunt after victim reveals name of alleged shooter just before he dies

Published 6:24 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Mississippi law enforcement is searching for a murder suspect after the victim told officers who shot him just before he died.

According to a news release from the Natchez Police Department, Johnny Ricardo Mason, 33, identified the shooter as Michael Thomas just before he succumbed to a gunshot wound.

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 and was arrested in June 2021 for allegedly kidnapping his then-girlfriend at gunpoint.

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Thomas faced charges of unlawful possession of marijuana, simple assault and domestic violence, all of which were dismissed in Natchez Municipal Court in early December, according to court records.

On Tuesday, police were dispatched to the area of Holiday Apartments in reference to a shooting and found Mason lying on the ground upon their arrival, who told officers he had been shot by Thomas, also known as “Traedo,” the release states.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said Mason, later succumbed to a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen at Merit Health Natchez.

Mason was pronounced dead just before 3 p.m., Lee said.

Officers of the Natchez Police Department and Adams County Sheriff’s Office were still searching for Thomas at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

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.