Police investigate shooting of 5 year old

Published 1:10 am Sunday, February 24, 2019

NATCHEZ — Natchez police investigators are looking for a man who dropped a woman and her 5-year-old daughter off at Merit Health Natchez shortly after midnight Saturday morning.

“The child, 5, did sustain a gunshot wound to the lower calf of her leg,” said Natchez Chief of Police Walter Armstrong.

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The child and her mother were later transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Armstrong said, adding the child’s wound did not appear to be life threatening.

The child was shot, Armstrong said, according to the mother, when a gunshot entered the vehicle as the three were leaving the Cedar Hurst Apartments and traveling on Lambert Street just after midnight Saturday morning.

“Damien Keyon Hayes, according to the mother, was driving the car and a round came into the vehicle and struck her daughter,” Armstrong said. “Damien drove them to the hospital and abandoned them at the hospital. We have not spoken to him and desperately need to speak to him.”

Armstrong said he believes it is unusual that someone would leave an injured child and her mother at the hospital.

After Hayes left the hospital in the mother’s car, the mother, Armstrong said, called Hayes.

“He … brought it (the car) back and left it in the parking lot next to the hospital,” Armstrong said. “We now have the vehicle in a secured location pending further investigation after we get a search warrant.”

Armstrong said investigators are actively seeking Hayes.

“We desperately need to speak to him (Hayes),” Armstrong said. “We are canvassing the location where the incident occurred and are looking for eyewitnesses.”

Armstrong asks that anyone with any information on the incident, or on how to reach Hayes, contact the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-5565.