Chief: Man killed after shootout with police in Mississippi

AP News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2017 4:38 PM

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Authorities in Greenville, Mississippi, say a man was shot to death by police after walking out of a house firing a handgun at officers.

Police Chief Delando Wilson Johnson told The Delta Democrat-Times (http://bit.ly/2kkx9F0 ) that Ronnie Lee Shorter, 44, died at the scene. The Washington County coroner, Methel Johnson, said Shorter had been shot five times.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into what happened. MBI spokesman Warren Strain said Shorter's body was sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Assistant Police Chief Michael Merchant told The Associated Press that five officers were put on administrative leave. Their names and other identifying information, including their race, were not released. Merchant said Shorter was black.

Greenville is a Mississippi River port city and hub of commerce in the cotton-growing Delta. About 78 percent of the city's 32,100 residents are African-American, as are the mayor and police chief.

Johnny Ross, who lives nearby, said Shorter "randomly, from time to time, would shoot up in the air."

Katherine Kilby, who also lives in the neighborhood, said she heard shots in the area for about two hours Saturday night.

"They just laid his body in the middle of the street and covered it up with a sheet," Kilby told the newspaper. "It was terrible."

Wilson said he thinks the last officer-involved shooting in Greenville was in 2004.

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Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, http://www.ddtonline.com