A Mississippi Walmart shooting in Iuka occurred Sunday night that ended with the gunman being shot by police. One officer was injured after being grazed by a bullet in gunfire exchanged with the suspect.
WTVA News reports that Mississippi Bureau of Investigations spokesperson Warren Strain tells them that 34-year-old Howard Brent Means Jr. from Tishomingo was firing at police when he was shot and killed around 6 p.m.
The officer hurt in the shootout was taken to a local hospital for treatment then released. A crime scene is reportedly being set up to conduct a full investigation. An autopsy of Means will be done in Jackson.
Very little information is available at this time. Tishombingo police have declined to comment on the Mississippi Walmart shooting — presumably until more is learned about the incident and there’s more for authorities to go on. Clarion Ledger sheds a bit more light on the shooting; it’s believed at this point that a conservation officer inside Walmart was also involved in the shooting. Means ran inside the store after a traffic dispute with a police officer who followed him. When he got inside the store, he began firing his weapon.
A friend of Means, Sheena Burton, said she and his father wanted to talk him into giving up his gun, but they were denied by police. She describes Means as someone who wanted everyone to get along and isn’t sure why he flipped the way he did. He’d been sober for several months and talked about his progress on Facebook. The gunman was a father to three kids, worked as a logger, and enjoyed race cars.
Burton adds that the Mississippi Walmart shooting is puzzling to her because she saw Means Saturday night and shares that nothing seemed out of the ordinary as far as his behavior was concerned. She goes on to say that she was one of the people he was around during their drinking days and that alcohol never made him do anything violent or drastic.
“They can do a blood test, but even if he would have been drinking, I still don’t think alcohol would have done that. I’ve seen Brent drunk back in the days when we all ran together, and he was a happy drunk,” Burton says.
Authorities will give an update on the Mississippi Walmart shooting as more details come available.
Reuters reports that Iuka is about 100 miles southwest of Nashville, Tennessee.
[Image via JJDM Singer]