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PELAHATCHIE, Miss. – A Mississippi man was shot dead Monday by police after a standoff, with police saying he emerged from a house pointing a gun at officers.
Rankin County Coroner David Ruth said Pierre Woods, 31, died after the shooting in Pelahatchie, east of Jackson.
Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said he, family members and Pelahatchie Police Chief Joseph Daughtry took turns trying to persuade Woods to come out.
“My heart goes out to the family of the suspect,” Bailey told reporters after the shooting. “The last thing we want to do is hurt anybody. I repeatedly myself tried to talk him out, begged him to come out, to get some help.”
The standoff began after they received a call about Woods firing a gun. Daughtry said Woods fired more shots once officers arrived and yelled vulgarities at them. He said police tried to negotiate with him for more than an hour. Bailey said officers fired tear gas into the house to try to force Woods out before he emerged.
Family members told local news outlets that Woods was mentally disturbed and may have been upset over the anniversary of the death of his mother. Bystanders screamed and wailed as television cameras at the scene recorded the sounds of a barrage of gunfire as Woods was shot. Video posted by one bystander shows a figure falling to the ground outside a small frame house.
“Lives were put in danger, they had to use deadly force to protect themselves and protect this community,” Bailey said. “It’s nothing we enjoy doing. It saddens each one of us and breaks our heart that this happened today.”
Police recovered a handgun, Daughtry said.
A number of people had been evacuated from surrounding houses and some schools were locked down.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is leading the inquiry into the shooting. The agency, by policy, does not release the names of officers involved.
“Everybody’s going to be upset,” Bailey said. “That’s why we have the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation coming out to make sure it’s done right.”