Mystery assault still has sheriff’s office guessing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NATCHEZ — After chasing down rumors of horses and homicide for five days and locating an uncooperative victim, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating what really happened in an apparent aggravated assault.

Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said the assault Nov. 5 of Tyrone Hoggatt Sr., 39, went unreported to his office or the Natchez Police Department.

More than a week later, deputies learned this weekend Hoggatt was in the hospital being treated for a gunshot wound. Mayfield would not disclose the name of the hospital for the protection of the victim, who Mayfield said is a known drug violator.

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Deputies first heard rumors on the street that Hoggatt was injured after falling off a horse. Rumors then changed, saying Hoggatt was assaulted and stabbed.

“Then we heard a person died, but nobody knew where he was or what happened,” Mayfield said.

The last thing the sheriff’s office was told before they discovered the victim was shot was that someone broke into Hoggatt’s house and beat him severely.

Deputies logged several man-hours piecing together the truth from several false statements after interviewing seven or eight people.

“When bad guys are after the bad guys, it takes a lot of hours to wade through all of the stories and lies,” he said.

Mayfield said his office is looking into pressing charges for obstruction of justice to those who provided false information.

The victim also remained uncooperative with law enforcement once he was located, Mayfield said.

At this point, Hoggatt’s condition is reportedly not life-threatening, Mayfield said. Deputies continue the investigation into who shot Hoggatt and how and where it happened.

Mayfield did say the shooting was likely drug-related.

Rumors apparently circulated on the social networking website and throughout the community about the incident.

“Because of the type of people we’re dealing with, everybody out there knows and talks about it, but (they’re) not going to talk to law enforcement,” he said.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should call the sheriff’s office at 601-442-2752.