Police eye suspect in reports of early morning gunshots in downtown Natchez
Published 1:06 pm Friday, June 30, 2023
NATCHEZ — Natchez police have identified the suspect believed to have fired multiple gunshots in a residential downtown neighborhood early Sunday.
Natchez Police Chief Cal Green said police have two affidavits for a suspect awaiting a judge’s signature. The affidavits are for misdemeanor charges of firing a gun inside of city limits and simple assault.
The first charge stemmed from an incident that took place at about 5 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of State and South Rankin streets. Residents reported hearing between five and eight gunshots fired. The simple assault charge stems from a report of the same suspect allegedly pointing a firearm at someone while attempting to break into vehicles at a different time.
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Green said the suspect’s identity would be released once an arrest warrant is signed.
“I hate that we don’t have stiffer charges to go with (the affidavits),” Green said.
On Monday morning after the incident, Natchez Police Commander Jerry Ford said police responded to several 911 calls referencing gunshots heard in the downtown residential area early Sunday.
“No one reported house damage or injuries,” Ford said. “The report said they couldn’t find out where the gunshots came from.”
Police continued to search for a suspect through the night, Ford said.
Green said that none of the 911 callers left a name, contact information or even an address for a police officer to go and take a report. Residents from the 800 block of State Street to the 200 block of South Rankin Street called to report hearing the gunshots, she said.
“Every person that called it in did not want to be contacted,” she said.
The report of a gun being pointed at someone followed several days later, Green added. “We can’t make an immediate arrest based on hearsay. We have to have someone sign the affidavit. Eventually, we did get a report from someone who said that this person pointed a firearm at them.”
Green urged anyone who saw the Sunday morning incident or may have captured it on video to check their cameras and make a report.
“Unfortunately, the police can’t arrest someone unless they saw it happen. Someone who saw it has to testify,” she said.