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Shooting update: Off-duty state trooper killed on U.S. 61 near Adams County, Jefferson County line

4:30 p.m. update: The U.S. Postal Service in conjunction with Mississippi Crime Stoppers are offering a $105,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects related to the shooting of an off-duty state trooper Friday on U.S. 61.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation responded to the shooting death of Lieutenant Troy Morris, 58, at approximately 4:30 a.m. Friday, a news release states.

Upon their arrival, agents discovered Morris’ body inside a U.S. Postal Service delivery truck.

Morris was a 27-year veteran of Lieutenant with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and worked part-time for the U.S. Postal Service.

“This is a sad day for Law enforcement, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the State of Mississippi,” said Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lieutenant 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 Lieutenant 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.”

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1:15 p.m. update: An off-duty state trooper was shot and killed early Friday morning while working as an independent contractor delivering the mail for the U.S. Postal Service.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said Lt. Troy Morris, 58, was shot and killed this morning while working a part-time job on his mail truck near the Adams County, Jefferson County line.

“It appears that he was changing a flat tire on U.S. 61 leaving Fayette,” Lee said. “I arrived at the scene around 8:45 a.m. after being notified by the Jefferson County coroner, who is on medical leave. The State Crime Lab also called me about working the case in Jefferson County.”

Lee said Jefferson County Sheriff James Bailey and local law enforcement were instrumental in assisting with working what he described as a difficult scene.

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

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.”

The body of Trooper Morris was escorted under heavy guard to the Mississippi Crime Lab where he will have an autopsy today, Lee said. “I can’t believe someone would gun down a police officer like that.”

Jefferson County Sheriff James Bailey told WLBT news reporters that the shooting happened near 4 a.m. A suspect in the shooting remains at large.

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9:45 a.m.: Investigators from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation were working a crime scene on U.S. 61 Friday morning.

The southbound lanes of U.S. 61 were closed just north of the Riverbend landfill in Jefferson County as investigators worked the scene.

Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Highway Patrol were assisting. Adams County Coroner James Lee was also on the scene.

Officials at the scene said information about the investigation would be issued later today in a news release from the Mississippi Highway Patrol.