Columbus Police are investigating early morning shooting that left one person dead

A suspect is not in custody at this time, but Columbus Police have identified a person of interest.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – An early morning shooting has left one person dead in Columbus.

Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant identified the person as 16-year-old Harvey Montreal Johnson Jr.

A suspect is not in custody at this time, but Columbus Police have identified a person of interest.

Shell casings and a wrecked vehicle–that’s the scene officers saw after shots were fired early Sunday morning.

” Around 1:47 we received a call about a reckless driver around the 100th block of Poplar street,” said Chief Shelton.

But here’s where the story gets interesting.

Police Chief Fred Shelton says just four minutes later, a second call came in–this time–a report of a black car in a ditch on Highway 182…just down the road.

” Around the 500th block of Alabama street which is at the intersection of poplar and Alabama street,” said Chief Shelton.

Officers determined both crimes were connected.

“We continued our investigation and we did find that the original instant occurred on the 100th block of poplar street that the victim and suspect were actually shooting at each other. We did learn from witnesses that there was some type of altercation between the suspect and the victim,” said Chief Shelton.

Officers found bullet holes in the car, the driver was found unconscious behind the wheel. Shelton believes the person who was shot drove away before crashing.

One passenger was in the car during the incident. They were not hurt.

The search for the suspect is ongoing.

Investigators say the motive for the gunfire is unclear at this time.

” We are trying to gather all of the information that we have and we’ve got a ton of evidence that we will have to send off to the crime lab and that’s going to have to be processed,” said Chief Shelton.

CPD asks for public help.

“This is what will make the community better. When we come together and you see something and you share it with us we are going to make sure that we do all we can and use the resources that we have to get everybody involved. We need the community. When you see something, report something. If there are gunshots in the area., or if people are walking around with guns. Any information like that I would say tell us and call us,” said Chief Shelton.

The shooting remains under investigation.

“It’s easy to arrest somebody but to get someone arrested we have to have evidence. We have to have enough evidence to go before a judge,” said Chief Shelton.

Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant will provide the victim’s name once a family has been notified.

If you have any information, call the Columbus Police Department or Golden Triangle CrimeStoppers.


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