Deadly workplace shooting in Amory leads to high-speed chase that ends in Columbus, murder suspect found hiding in the bushes

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A deadly shooting in Amory Saturday morning led to a high-speed chase involving multiple law enforcement agencies that finally ended after police found the suspect hiding in the bushes of a Columbus neighborhood. “I was in the kitchen…and I could see the police from the light and they came in like lightning and I was like ‘Wait, what’s going on?’ and that was it. It scared me,” said a Columbus mother who did not wish to be identified. That was how Saturday morning started for the woman, who was making breakfast for her two young children when they were interrupted by the high-speed chase and the fleeing murder suspect.

“I came out to see what was going on,” she says. “And they said ‘No ma’am you got to stay in your house and close the door.'” Amory Police say it was just after 3:30 a.m. when they got a call for a workplace shooting on the south side of town. Investigators say 29-year-old Menderil Cohen went on the run after he allegedly shot and killed a man the Monroe County Coroner identified as 46-year-old Michael Randle, of Columbus. “From my understanding, they were reaching speeds of 120 miles an hour coming down Highway 45 North in Columbus,” says Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins. Sheriff Hawkins says his deputies and Columbus Police joined the pursuit sometime after 8 a.m. which ended at the corner of North Clover Street and Wheat Street. “It’s a dangerous situation, it really is,” he says.

Cohen abandoned his car right in front of the Columbus mother’s home. “I didn’t hear the car until he got up on the sidewalk,” she says. “And then I heard a ‘skert’ like a really loud boom, like he tried to stop. And then he just jumped out.” Columbus Police finally caught Cohen hiding in the bushes in a neighborhood in the 1300 block of 20th Street. “They were looking for a man from Amory, Mississippi and they said he shot somebody, or whatever, then the next thing you know, I said, “What is going on,'” says Columbus resident Gwen Hollis.

Hollis says she was startled when police came knocking on her door searching for Cohen, who was hiding close by. “I said, ‘What ya’ll doing coming to my house for?’ Because I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs,” she says. Amory PD took Cohen into custody and is now leading the homicide investigation. “We’re just very thankful that no one was injured or hurt during this pursuit and that we were able to apprehend the suspect so quickly and get him into custody,” says Sheriff Hawkins. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Mississippi Highway Patrol were both involved in helping catch Cohen. Amory PD has not released any more information on the murder itself at this time. “My son could have been outside playing and could have run towards the street and then that would have been an accident,” says the Columbus mother.

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