Police await toxicology tests after shootout

Published 12:17am Tuesday, April 23, 2013

NATCHEZ — Toxicology tests are pending for the Natchez man who died after an inexplicable shootout with law enforcement officers during an investigation of a highway wreck.

Justin Tyler Harrigill, 25, died late Saturday night on Interstate 55 South approximately a mile south of Crystal Springs.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Warren Strain said Harrigill was traveling south on I-55 when he apparently lost control of his vehicle.

“We’re not sure exactly what happened, but it looked like he just lost control, and it ran off the side of the road and down into the tree line,” Strain said. “When the trooper who was out doing routine patrol went to assist him, (Harrigill) wouldn’t respond to the officer’s commands.

“(Harrigill) became verbally abusive, and the trooper called for backup.”

Strain said three other troopers, two Crystal Springs police officers, firefighters and a hospital rescue crew responded.

The law enforcement officials then Tasered Harrigill after he continued being combative, Strain said.

“The stun gun had basically zero effect on him,” Strain said. “He pulled the stun gun pins out of his body, and that’s when it went from unusual to very unusual.”

Strain said Harrigill went to his vehicle and pulled a .45 cal. handgun from between the seats of his vehicle and fired one shot at officers before they returned fire.

Strain said toxicology and forensic tests are currently being completed to see if Harrigill may have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and that they would be expedited.

The officers involved were put on administrative leave with pay until the investigation is complete as part of standard policy and procedure, Strain said.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    State needs to give this a fine tooth comb investigation for it does have a smell about it??!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Lewis/1384962829 Ken Lewis

    Yet by many of your previous post if it had been an African American you would have said the “thug” got what he deserved. It does seem to me that this guy may have had a medical emergency or maybe he wanted to kill himself by running of the road but when that didn’t work he went with suicide by cop.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    So, you are throwing the first stone huh’??!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amber.rogers.9081 Amber Nicole Rogers

    the young man was a diabetic and had been having problems with his sugar……he was a hard worker and loved his family, so before you judge plz make sure that u know what u are talking about…….they automatically want to say he was drugged out…until the reports come back I will assume different since I knew him personally. plz remember family members read this also when posting your opinions….

  • Afro

    I concur….the old uneducated farts there are full of hatred and try to influence the poor uneducated to think likewise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522826965 Al Mo

    sure wish people would turn their animosity to running CCA out of town before they run all of the MDOC which appears to be their plan