May 9, 2022

UPDATE: Brandon Police release details about incident on I-20, now an officer-involved shooting

Therese Apel

Lorenzo Leon Taylor
Multiple police vehicles belonging to various agencies leaving a scene on I-20 where a suspect was stopped driving a stolen Brandon police car.

UPDATE:

The Brandon Police Department has released more information recgarding what ended up being an officer-involved shooting.

“Before proceeding with this release, it is most important to note that the officer involved in this incident suffered only minor injuries which did not require any medical attention. This is more important than anything else in regard to this matter,” wrote Chief William Thompson.

The release from BPD says there was a call of a domestic disturbance that was occurring inside of a vehicle west bound on I-20 just before Exit 56 (Downtown Brandon Exit). Before officers could arrive the caller said that the suspect in this matter, later identified as Lorenzo Leon Taylor of Jackson had exited the vehicle and was walking west along I-20.

When officers arrived in the area, one stopped with the suspect vehicle and the other continued west on I-20 in an attempt to locate the suspect. Taylor was found by the second officer just before the downtown Brandon exit. The officer approached the suspect and asked if he was ok and what was going on. The officer quickly determined that the suspect was going to be uncooperative.

The suspect had a black book bag in which the was attempting to get something out of. The officer asked Taylor if there was anything in the bag that would hurt him.

“I have the same thing you do,” Taylor replied.

Fearing that he was about to pull a gun from the bag, the officer attempted to gain control of the bag and the suspect.

(Scroll down for eyewitness testimony.)

The suspect struggled with the officer and attempted to take his gun. The suspect then pushed the officer and ran to his patrol car and got into the driver’s seat. The officer attempted to pull the suspect from the vehicle but the suspect sped away. The officer slid down the side of the patrol car as it was driven away but the officer suffered only minor injuries.

There were other weapons in the vehicle. The officer fired one shot into the driver area of the patrol car striking the suspect in the left palm with the bullet continuing into the steering wheel and dash of the vehicle and another into the rear of the police car as the suspect drove away.

Brandon and assisting agencies were able to stop the stolen police car using a blocking technique on I-20 at approximately the 53 mile marker I-20 west bound. Officers removed Taylor from the vehicle and took him into custody. It was at that time it was discovered that the suspect had sustained a grazing gunshot wound to the inside of his left palm.

Medical support that arrived on scene determined that the wound was so minor that it did not require a trip to the hospital. It was also discovered that the suspect was wearing an ankle monitor issued by MDOC and they had a warrant out for his arrest.

Taylor was transported to the Brandon Police Department for booking but the suspect was extremely combative. He was then transported directly to the Rankin County Jail where he continued be combative and attempted to kick the windows out of the transporting vehicle.

After his arrest, police were informed that Taylor had been previously convicted in 2018 by the Bartow County Georgia Superior Court of Robbery by Snatching, Theft by Taking, Obstruction of an Officer, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Driving under the Influence, and various driving and minor offenses, and was sentenced to 20 years, with 5 years to serve and 15 years post-release probation.

Taylor was also sentenced later in 2018 in Cherokee County Georgia Superior Court of two counts Simple Assault, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Attempted Removal of Weapon from Public Official, and Driving under the Influence, and sentenced to serve 10 years, with 5 years to serve and the remaining 5 on probation.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was called and will be handling the shooting portion of this matter. The Brandon Police Department will be charging the suspect with: Auto Theft, Convicted Felon in Possession of a firearm and Felony Fleeing. Other Charges could be forthcoming.

The suspect is currently at the Rankin County Jail on a $1,050,000 bond. Taylor initial appearance with be Wednesday  at the city of Brandon Municipal Court. He is currently on hold for the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

GEORGIA ENCOUNTER

A quick search of Taylor on the internet shows he has previously been shot by police after stealing a police car during a traffic stop in Georgia.

The Cherokee Tribune and Ledger News reported in 2018 that Taylor was indicted by a grand jury in Cherokee County for allegedly stealing a Bartow County patrol car, leading three agencies on a high-speed chase through Cherokee County and trying to run over police officers trying to stop him.

The newspaper reported that he was indicted for two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, attempted removal of weapon from public official and driving under the influence of drugs. Taylor was reportedly also under the influence of promethazine, codeine, phencyclidine (angel dust) and marijuana while driving, according to his indictment.

On July 16, 2016, a Bartow deputy was called to an Acworth location in reference to a possible vehicle break-in when he encountered Taylor, GBI spokesman Scott Dutton previously told the Tribune. The deputy was interviewing a witness when Taylor jumped into the patrol car and drove off.

During that pursuit in question, Taylor was shot twice by police.

ORIGINAL POST/ EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY:

A man is in custody after multiple law enforcement sources say he fought a police officer and stole his vehicle.

The incident occurred sometime around 11:25 a.m., an eyewitness told Darkhorse Press. She said she saw the officer being fought and his patrol car stolen on I-20 in Rankin County, just before the last Brandon exit headed east.

“I saw the cop and the man, and I saw the guy jump in the cop’s car,” she said. “The cop is leaned over in the car trying to get him out. Then I don’t know if he kicked him out or pushed him out but the cop came out of the car and the car took off.”

The witness asked that her name be withheld for privacy’s sake, but she has family members who have worked in law enforcement. She said she recognized the danger the officer was in.

“I was trying to call 911, I know the cop’s microphone could have gotten knocked off in the struggle,” she said. “It caught me off guard because I realized they were tussling in the car and I knew something was really wrong.”

Down the road, near the airport exit and headed west, the patrol car was recovered. Traffic was backed up temporarily as officers worked the scene.

Authorities say the officer and the suspect are both in good condition.

Brandon Police Department has said they will send a press release on the incident. We will release more as it becomes available.

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