WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR: Police release statement about former Mississippi deputy found bound, shot outside church hundreds of mile from home
Published 7:55 am Tuesday, January 31, 2023
The story surrounding a former deputy and resident of Vicksburg who was found shot and bound near a church several hundred miles away in Gulfport, unfolded last week.
The Vicksburg Police Department released its first statement about the Mike Ouzts case to The Post on Monday afternoon.
Deputy Chief Mike Bryant said that the investigation, which is taking place among multiple jurisdictions in Mississippi and Louisiana, is ongoing and that VPD will not be releasing information about it at this time.
“It’s a very involved investigation. It’s going to be a slow process because we want to be as thorough as we can about everything,” Bryant said. “We’re still conducting interviews and the investigation is continuing.”
Reports from outlets in Mississippi and Louisiana indicate the case began Thursday with a report of a missing person that originated in Vicksburg.
According to his Facebook page, Ouzts is a former Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy and a retiree of the East Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The Gulfport Police Department shared more information Friday afternoon about the shooting.
On Jan. 26 at approximately 2:14 a.m., the Gulfport Police Department responded to the 14000 block of Old Highway 49 in reference to suspicious activity. Upon arrival, officers located a vehicle listed stolen by the Vicksburg Police Department.
While investigating the stolen vehicle, officers were approached by an individual, later identified as Logan Delena, 27, of Saucier, Miss. While officers were investigating the suspicious activity, Delena fled the area on foot.
Upon speaking with Vicksburg Police Department, the Gulfport Police Department learned the vehicle was involved in a suspicious missing person case from their jurisdiction.
At approximately 11:50 a.m., officers were continuing their investigation searching for further stolen items in a wooded area off of Old Highway 49, when they subsequently located a victim, bound and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim, identified by other sources as Ouzts, was transported to a local area hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Through the cooperation of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, the Vicksburg Police Department, the Gulfport Police Department and the Gonzales Police Department the suspects were ultimately located at a Jack in the Box restaurant in Gonzales, La., following a manhunt.
Delana was one of eight people detained as a result of the manhunt, along with Blake Menefee, 20 of Gonzales. Delana and Menefee are facing charges resulting from their apprehension before being extradited back to Mississippi to face multiple felony charges out of Vicksburg.
So far, Delena is charged with seven counts of illegal possession of stolen firearms; one count of illegal possession of stolen things; one count of aggravated flight from an officer; one count of possession of Schedule I controlled dangerous substance; one count of illegal carrying of weapons; and one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
The second suspect arrested on a warrant from Harrison County is Blake Menefee, 20 of Gonzales, La. Menefee is charged with seven counts of illegal possession of stolen firearms; one count of illegal possession of stolen things; one count of aggravated flight from an officer; one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana; and one count of illegal carry of weapons.
“This was a multi-state investigation and we would like to thank the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Vicksburg Police Department and Gonzales Police for their combined efforts, as well as the citizen who saw something strange and contacted the police,” the statement from Gulfport Police read.
This is a developing story.