Sheriff: Stolen car possibly spotted in downtown area
Published 5:38 pm Monday, January 8, 2024
NATCHEZ — Three juveniles suspected of shooting and carjacking a woman at a church on U.S. 61 North after escaping a juvenile center in Hinds County are thought to be in the downtown Natchez area, Sheriff Travis Patten said.
The stolen vehicle was possibly spotted near the Cathedral School. The car is a gold or bronze-colored 2015 Ford Fusion with a “busted-out” window.
“We’re out here looking for it right now in the downtown area,” Patten said just after 5 p.m.
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One of the three suspected of shooting the woman at the Stanton Baptist Church on U.S. 61 is 17-year-old Tayshon Holmes, who at age 15 was previously arrested and charged with the murder of 19-year-old Bill Calvin Jr. in Adams County. The other two are Robert Earl Smith,16, and Jashon Jones, 15.
The three teens escaped overnight from the Henley-Young-Patton Youth Detention Center after what Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones described to news stations as a “large disturbance” at the juvenile center. At least three other detainees were also injured and taken to a hospital. They are expected to be OK, the sheriff said. The same trio escaped the facility in July 2023.
Patten said the Natchez shooting victim was alert at Merit Health Natchez.
“I went to the hospital and spoke with her. She appears to be in stable condition, but I’m not a medical professional. I do know that they are getting ready to transfer her to Jackson.”
Patten said the victim recalled most of the incident that took place Monday afternoon.
“She was pulled over in the parking lot of Stanton Baptist Church and they pulled up on her in a stolen white van,” he said. “She rolled down the window after one of them walked up, tapped on the car window and asked for her cell phone. When she said no, they shot her.”
After shooting the woman, Patten said they drug her out of the car, left her on the side of the road and took the car.
“They left her there to die. They don’t even know she is alive,” he said.
Authorities recovered the white Med-Transit Doge Van that they were traveling in, which reportedly had been stolen earlier Monday in the Jackson area in another possible carjacking incident.
Earlier today, Patten issued an urgent message to Adams County residents to be on the lookout for a gold-colored Ford Fusion and three teens who escaped from the detention center.
“We just received a call of a female carjacked and shot on U.S. 61 North,” Patten said. “There were three juveniles traveling in a white van that we have recovered. We need individuals to be on the lookout for a gold Ford Fusion (belonging to the woman who was carjacked).”
The vehicle is a 2015 Ford Fusion with the tag number ADC8276. The vehicle was stolen at the Stanton Baptist Church and its owner was shot twice, once in the neck and once in the back, after she refused to give up her cellphone.
They are also suspected of another carjacking in Jackson, where a white Med-Transit Doge Van was stolen and has since been recovered by authorities. Another stolen vehicle, a blue 2007 Jeep Liberty with tag number CFB-0901, was recovered Monday morning in the 1900 block of Wilson Street.
“We need everyone to be on high alert and make sure they call 911 if they spot this gold Ford Fusion,” Patten said.