Police chief: ‘We are not on lockdown’

Published 1:29 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2024

NATCHEZ — Natchez Police Chief Cal Green said some Natchezians in the downtown area particularly are under the mistaken impression the city is on lockdown after three juveniles who escaped from a Jackson detention center overnight on Sunday or early Monday were tracked to the city on Monday afternoon.

“We are not on lockdown. Nothing is shut down. I don’t think they have anything to be unduly afraid of,” Green said Tuesday afternoon.

She urged Natchez residents to go about their business as usual.

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The sense of tension and concern has enveloped the community since the three juveniles allegedly carjacked and shot an elderly Natchez woman in the parking lot of the Stanton Baptist Church on U.S. 61 North on Monday afternoon.

The woman, who has not been identified, was taken first to Merit Health Natchez and later transported to a Jackson hospital. She was in critical condition this morning and being prepped for surgery, said Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten.

One of the three escapees, Tayshon Holmes, 17, is from Natchez. The other two — Robert Smith, 16, and Jashon Jones, 15 — may also have connections to Natchez.

“They are from here or have relatives here, but they also have relatives in Concordia Parish,” Green said. “The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Natchez Police Department are actively searching for these individuals.”

No law enforcement agencies have seen or engaged the suspects in Natchez, Patten said. Social media rumors reported police in Natchez were engaged in a chase with the suspects at about 8 a.m. today near Cathedral School, which went on lockdown for a short period of time.

That was not the case, Green said.

“Our officers were checking out a suspected sighting on Woodlawn and called for back up to be safe. What people heard were the sirens from the backup officers. There was no chase. It turned out to be a false alarm,” Green said.

• Also Monday evening, Natchez Police officers responded to an alarm at Head Start at the corner of North Union and West Stiers Lane.

Green said officers check out the building but did not find that anyone had gotten inside.

This morning when Head Start workers arrived, they discovered the building had been entered and a monitor was taken. Nothing else was reported damaged or stolen, Green said.