Mississippi police officer witnesses drive-by shooting, chases suspects until car crashes into light pole

Published 3:16 pm Saturday, October 1, 2022

Two people are under arrest after a police officer in an unmarked car witnessed a drive-by shooting and then chased the suspects until the suspects crashed their vehicle into a light pole Friday night.

Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry said one of his investigators was out in an unmarked police unit and witnessed an altercation that ended with someone firing gunshots at another from their vehicle just before midnight on Friday in the 1500 block of East Franklin Street.

A female passenger, identified as 30-year-old Danteris Johnson, allegedly handed a gun to 33-year-old Gregory Hammett who fired the gunshots, Daughtry said.

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The investigator turned on his red and blue lights and chased their vehicle to Oak and Maple Streets, where they crashed into a light pole.

Johnson was checked out at Merit Health Natchez but no serious injuries have been reported. “Thankfully, no one and no bystanders were hit by the gunshots,” Daughtry said, adding, “This was not a random act.”

Daughtry said Hammett and the victim were in an argument over a female that escalated. Both Hammett and Johnson were taken into custody.

“Thanks to old-fashioned policing, the investigator was in the right place at the right time,” Daughtry said, thanking the investigator and other officers on duty that night.

Hammett has been charged with discharging a firearm in city limits, aggravated assault, shooting in a motor vehicle and drive-by shooting.

Johnson has also been charged with shooting in a motor vehicle and aggravated assault by drive-by shooting for acting in concert with the shooting.

“She handed him the gun,” which constituted those charges, Daughtry said.