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Family: High speed chase result of medicine issue

NATCHEZ — Family members of a Natchez man who shot at Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies Sunday night during a high-speed chase say medical issues were to blame for the entire situation.

Laney Wayne Dawson, 61, of Natchez, was booked at the Adams County Jail at 11:58 p.m. Sunday on a charge of aggravated domestic violence. The arrest followed a high-speed chase with deputies during which Dawson reportedly fired a pistol at a truck driver on U.S. 61 North and at ACSO deputies when the chase spilled over into Jefferson County momentarily.

Dawson eventually wound up back at a Forest Home Road house, where deputies originally responded to a reported dispute at approximately 7:45 p.m.

Dawson reportedly began shooting at the house after the chase and eventually had a short standoff with deputies.

Dawson was eventually taken into custody and transported to jail.

Jamie Herrington, Dawson’s daughter, said Monday morning that the behavior of her father Sunday was nothing normal.

“My dad is 61 years old and has not even so much as a speeding ticket on his record,” Herrington said. “This has just been so crazy for all of us.”

Herrington said a recent change to prescription medication her father has taken for many years has caused strange behavior lately.

“My dad has been thrown out to the wolves with nobody to help him,” Herrington said. “It’s been very, very hard to see him go through all this.

“My youngest daughter was there when they were arresting him and she told me she looked at his face and it was a blank stare, and she said, ‘That wasn’t my Papa.’”

Herrington said her family was in constant communication with the sheriff’s office Sunday during the incident informing them of her father’s recent mental health issues.

“That’s why they followed him that whole time without shooting back at him,” Herrington said. “My dad was severely mental at that time.”

Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said Monday the deputies involved in the chase weren’t aware of Dawson’s mental condition at the time, but still showed restraint during the incident to minimize potential injuries.

“By all standards, they could have used lethal force, but they didn’t,” Mayfield said. “These deputies don’t know about all the background when they get into these situations, but they’re trained to know what to do, and I’m glad they used the restraint.”

Mayfield said because Dawson fired at deputies in Jefferson County, further charges for those crimes would need to be filed through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re working closely with the sheriff over there to figure out how we’re going to get that worked out,” Mayfield said. “Those charges are pending as we continue the investigation.”

Dawson was being held at the Adams County Jail with no bond as of Monday evening.