$108,000 reward offered for information in fatal shooting of off-duty state trooper

Published 8:56 pm Friday, August 7, 2020

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A $108,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any person related to the Friday morning killing of an off-duty state trooper in Jefferson County.

A $105,000 reward is being offered by the U.S. Postal Service in conjunction with Mississippi Crime Stoppers. Those with information in the case can call the U.S. Postal Service Tip line at 1-877-876-2455 or Mississippi Crime Stoppers at 1-888-827-4637. The Mississippi State Troopers Association added an additional $3,000 to the reward Friday evening to bring the total reward to $108,000.

Off-duty state trooper Lt. Troy Morris was shot and killed early Friday morning while working part-time delivering the mail for the U.S. Postal Service.

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Adams County Coroner James Lee said Morris, 58, from Natchez, was shot and killed while working on his mail truck on U.S. 61 near the Adams County, Jefferson County line.

“It appears that he was changing a flat tire on U.S. 61 leaving Fayette,” Lee said.

A news release from the Mississippi Highway Patrol said agents from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations responded to a shooting death on U.S. 61 in Jefferson County at 4:30 a.m. Friday. Upon their arrival, agents discovered Morris’ body inside a U.S. Postal Service delivery truck.

From Natchez, Morris was a 27-year veteran of the Mississippi Highway Patrol and worked part-time for the U.S. Postal Service. Morris served with Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M in the southwest region of the state.

Lee said he arrived at the scene just north of the Riverbend landfill at 8:45 a.m. after being notified by the Jefferson County coroner, who is on medical leave. Lee said the State Crime Lab called him about working the case in Jefferson County.

Lee said Jefferson County Sheriff James Bailey and local law enforcement were instrumental in helping him work what he described as a “difficult scene.”

“It took nearly six hours and we had food and water to refresh,” Lee said.

Law enforcement from across the region, including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Highway Patrol, assisted in the investigation.

Lee said everyone was noticeably heartbroken over the death of their fellow comrade.

“Troopers from around this state were vehemently searching for clues and leads to direct them to a possible suspect. The State Crime Lab sent a team of forensic experts to work the crime scene,” Lee said. “This is a sad day, not only for law enforcement but family and friends of Lt. Morris. My deepest sympathy and prayers.”

Officials from the state offered similar sentiments.

“This is a sad day for law enforcement, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the State of Mississippi,” Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lt. Troy Morris. Local, state and federal agents will work tirelessly to ensure justice.”

Col. Randy Ginn, Mississippi Highway Patrol director, said Morris would be missed as a valued agent and friend.

“We are deeply saddened at the loss of Lt. Troy Morris,” Ginn said. “He was a good man, friend and a valuable member of this agency. He will truly be missed by the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

As of Friday evening, officials have not released any information about possible suspects or motives in the case.

Lee said the body of Morris was escorted under heavy guard to the Mississippi Crime Lab, where an autopsy was conducted Friday.

“I can’t believe someone would gun down a police officer like that, Lee said.