WOODVILLE, Miss. (WAFB) - Officials are investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened early Tuesday morning in Woodville, Mississippi.
Woodville Police Chief Jessie Stewart says the shooting happened between 2 and 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2 at the Sprint Mart and Shell gas station on Highway 61.
According to Stewart, Gerry Byrd, 28, almost drove an Acura through the front of the store, but was stopped by two posts out front. He got out of the car and began waving two semi-automatic pistols in the air. A bystander, who was unharmed, called police.
According to police, Byrd went inside the store and “slapped around” a female clerk who was working by herself at the time. Police say she wasn’t seriously injured and is okay.
A Woodville police officer arrived on the scene and Byrd was shot multiple times in the upper and lower chest, Stewart said. According to witnesses, Byrd was yelling that he wasn’t afraid to shoot the clerk because he had just shot another woman.
Stewart said he was “amazed,” and that this was the first shooting he’s seen like this in almost 50 years.
“I’ve been with the police department for 46 years in October. This is my first time to have this happen in the police department," Stewart said.
Police in Baton Rouge believe Byrd was riding in the Acura with the car’s owner, a woman from Adams County, on I-10 near the I-110 split Tuesday morning when he shot her and stole her vehicle. Police found her walking on the interstate with a gunshot wound about an hour prior.
Stewart says Byrd was “under the influence of a strong drug."
“He was so high on something, we couldn’t get anything out of him,” Stewart said.
Byrd was air lifted to a hospital in Baton Rouge for treatment. Police say his injuries are life threatening. As of July 9, Byrd recently had surgery and is expected to be released this week. He will be released to the Baton Rouge Police Department since he is facing more serious charged in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Byrd was recently released from the Mississippi Department of Correction. He was serving time for a burglary charge in Adams County and for possession of contraband in Jefferson County.
“I’m just so thankful that this wasn’t any worse than what it was,” Stewart said. “You know with one female in there working that time of the night by herself. It was just lucky there was a bystander on the outside and saw this happening and he was able to call the Sheriff’s Department.”
Authorities said Byrd was wearing an ankle monitor during the shooting.