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NPD pursuing leads on murder

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Police Department spent Friday checking out tips residents called in to Crime Stoppers after the shooting death of a liquor store employee Thursday night, but Detective Jerry Ford said none of the tips have led to a suspect.

Tyrone Bernard, 49, 308 1/2 S. Bluebird Drive, was killed Wednesday night after he was reportedly ambushed by four men while closing up the liquor store at which he worked.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said Bernard died of a single gunshot wound to the left abdomen. The bullet was recovered during the autopsy and is currently at the state crime lab for testing.

Natchez Police Department Detective Jerry Ford said four individuals were waiting in the alley beside DD’s Package Store on Martin Luther King Jr. Street for Bernard, while he was closing the store at approximately 10 p.m. When Bernard came outside, Ford said, the suspects rushed him and attempted to rob him.

Bernard fought with one of the suspects and then was shot, Ford said.

Bernard attempted to leave the scene in his car, Ford said, presumably to get help, but died shortly after getting in his vehicle. Ford said Bernard’s vehicle cruised approximately 40 feet across the street, hitting the side of the Extreme Rim Shop building.

According to a NPD report, officers discovered Bernard unresponsive in his car. Officers reported a small pistol was discovered by Bernard’s right hand.

Ford said the gun had not been fired when police recovered it.

Residents are encouraged to keep calling in tips to Crime Stoppers to assist the police department in the investigation, Ford said.

“The more leads we get, the quicker we can try to sort through this and bring the person who actually committed the crime to justice,” he said. “I’m sure the outstanding citizens of this community want this person off the streets so this can’t happen again.”

Anyone with any information about the murder should call Crime Stoppers at 601-442-5000 or NPD at 601-445-5565.

Crime Stoppers offers a reward up to $1,000 for a tip leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.

Callers can remain anonymous.

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