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Two arrested in connection with December shooting

NATCHEZ — Natchez police arrested two people Wednesday in connection to a Christmas Eve drive-by shooting that injured a man on Minor Street.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said police officers went to the residence of Destiny Smith at 327A Dumas Drive and arrested Damien Hayes for attempted murder and drive-by shooting in connection to the Dec. 24 shooting.

“Damien was found hiding in the closet,” Armstrong said. “The resident (Destiny Smith) was arrested and charged with harboring a fugitive along with four other outstanding warrants that were unrelated to the incident.”

Damien was also found to be in possession of a Taurus 9mm and several bags of what is believed to be marijuana, Armstrong said, adding that additional charges on Hayes are pending.

Natchez police officers were dispatched at 11:43 p.m. Dec. 24 to Merit Health Natchez in response to a report of a person who had been shot.

“Contact was made with the victim who advised that the shooting had actually taken place on Minor Street,” Armstrong said at the time. “The victim was then transported to UMMC by ambulance where he underwent surgery for the gunshot wounds he received.”

Police had been searching for Hayes ever since the Dec. 4 drive-by shooting that injured Kendrick Owens. Another suspect, Tyrell White, was taken into custody on Dec. 31 in connection with the shooting.

During White’s arrest he was found to be in possession of a stolen firearm, thereby receiving an additional charge of possession of a stolen firearm, Armstrong said at the time.