Sheriff on carjacking suspects: ‘We hope we can catch them, put the public mind at ease’

Published 10:26 am Tuesday, January 9, 2024

NATCHEZ — Natchez police and Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies have searched overnight and continue searching this morning for three juveniles suspected of shooting and carjacking a woman at Stanton Baptist Church on U.S. 61 on Monday afternoon.

U.S. Marshals and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations are also searching, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said Tuesday morning.

The suspects are thought to be the three juveniles who escaped a Hinds County juvenile detention center overnight Sunday and possibly carjacked another vehicle to get to Natchez.

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One of the suspects 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.

“It’s possible that they could still be in the area but it’s also possible they took an alternate route to leave,” Patten said Tuesday morning. “They have family in Waterproof, Clayton and Baton Rouge and may have traveled to any one of those places. … Our search is going to continue on until we locate these individuals or they’re caught by other law enforcement agencies elsewhere.  I want the community to know that both Natchez and Adams County law enforcement agencies are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach making sure that we search every corner of the City of Natchez and every corner of the County of Adams.”

The three teens escaped 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, Jones said. The same trio also escaped the same facility in July 2023.

ACSO responded to a carjacking and shooting at approximately 2:30 p.m. Monday. The victim had been shot twice, once in the neck and back after a teen approached her car, taped on the window and asked for her cell phone and she told them no.

Patten said as of Tuesday morning she had been transferred from Merit Health Natchez to a Jackson hospital and is in “critical but stable condition.”

He also confirmed that no law enforcement agencies have seen or engaged the suspects since the shooting took place in Natchez.

Early Tuesday morning, law enforcement vehicles surrounded the Head Start school on North Union Street in response to an overnight break-in

Natchez Police Chief Cal Green said the school was broken into and some items were taken out, but cannot confirm whether it was these three suspects or not.

They were last thought to be traveling in a 2015 Ford Fusion with the tag number ADC8276 and possibly a broken driver’s side window.

Someone may have seen the car in the downtown area around 5 p.m. Monday

“A tipster traveling along St. Catherine Street took a picture (of the car) and said that the driver’s side window was broken out,” Patten said. “They turned right beside the Cathedral school. We’ve not been able to locate it since.”

(Submitted) Be on the look out for this gold Ford Fusion that was stolen Monday in Natchez.

Crime Stoppers has offered up to a $2,500 award for tips that lead to the arrest and capture of any or all of these individuals.

To receive an award, tips must be entered through Crime Stoppers by calling 888-442-5001.

Patten said the suspects are considered to be armed and dangerous.

“As dangerous as they are, use common sense and take precautions. If seen, call 911 immediately so that we can take immediate action,” he said. “We hope we can apprehend these individuals soon and put the public’s mind at ease.”