June 23, 2023

Off-duty Lauderdale County deputy fatally shoots would-be carjacker

Therese Apel

A would-be carjacker was shot by an off-duty Lauderdale County deputy Friday when he attempted to steal the deputy’s vehicle, leading to a physical fight and then a shooting, officials said.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said the deputy had taken the day off to take his wife to see their child in a Vacation Bible School play at First Baptist Church in downtown Meridian Friday morning and they had pulled into the parking lot when the incident occurred.

The deputy’s wife had recently had knee surgery and was using a walker, so the deputy was getting it out of the back of the vehicle when a man approached and told him he was going to steal the car.

The deputy refused, which led to an “extensive” physical fight that was caught on church security cameras, Sollie said.  At some point, the suspect rushed the vehicle and jumped inside while the deputy’s wife was still partially in the vehicle. The deputy used his concealed carry weapon at that time to stop the carjacking, the sheriff said.

The alleged carjacker was fatally injured, the sheriff said.

Meridian Police Department is leading the investigation, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is collecting the evidence on the case. The deputy has not been charged in the incident.

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