Desoto County News

Officer-involved shooting in Southaven

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) is investigating an officer-involved shooting involving the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department that occurred early Wednesday morning, Aug. 30 at a residence on Clark Avenue in Southaven.

MBI received notification at approximately 6:40 a.m. of the incident. Officers with a SWAT team were attempting to execute an arrest warrant on behalf of the Drug Enforcement Administration at the residence when the subject pointed a weapon in the direction of the officers. The subject received fatal injuries. The officers involved were not hurt.

MBI is currently assessing this critical incident and gathering evidence. Upon completing the  investigation, agents will share their findings with the Attorney General’s Office.

An official identification of the victim was not immediately available, but news reports from the scene said family members identifed him as 32-year-old Demarcus Williams, as reported by WMC-TV Action News 5. MBI later confirmed Williams’ identity.

The initial media release identified the Southaven Police Department being involved in the shooting, but another release corrected the information to identify the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department as the department involved.

More information was released late Wednesday night about the shooting. Demarcus Williams was confirmed as the victim by the Sheriff’s Department and deputies came to his residence on a federal search warrant, seeking Williams on four federal indictments.

Deputies knocked on the door but no one responded so windows were broken into in an attempt to contact Williams, who then produced a rifle and pointed it at a deputy. That resulted in the deputy firing in self defense, hitting Williams.

Officials say Williams had a history of murder, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, multiple drug charges, and multiple gun charges.

Thursday, Chief Deputy Justin Smith issued a statement regarding the incident, which included the following:

“Deputies knocked on the door and announced their presence for an ample amount of time for occupants to come to the door. Williams did not respond or answer the door.
“We continued to try and make contact with Williams. Once we made contact with Williams through a window, deputies asked him multiple times to show his hands and surrender. He refused. Williams produced a rifle and he pointed it at a deputy. The deputy shot Williams in the chest in self defense, medical aid was attempted as soon as reasonably possible, and Williams succumbed to his injuries on the scene.
“Simple compliance is the key to deescalating these incidents. In a world of increasing violence and degradation of the law enforcement profession, these incidents can be minimized by complying with the multiple commands Mr. Williams was given.  Unfortunately, we had a tragic loss of life, but it could have been avoided with compliance. This is especially true in incidents such as this when law enforcement is present and acting well within Constitutional boundaries.”

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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