A police officer in Mississippi is in critical condition after two masked men opened fire during an active robbery and a bullet hit him in the head, authorities told NBC News.
Derrick Couch, a Clarksdale officer, responded to an armed robbery on Saturday night at a convenience center. He was found with a gunshot wound to the head out on the streets.
Surveillance was unhelpful in identifying the two suspects because they were wearing masks, NBC News reports. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations did notice one suspect had a very distinct walk, and the public is being asked to assist with identifying the suspects.
As of Sunday morning, Couch is in critical condition after undergoing a surgery, police said.
Mayor Bill Luckett did tell CNN that suspicious activity was noticed by the officer, who just so happened to be nearby when he saw two clerks fleeing through the back door of the convenience store.
After the suspects stole money from the cash register, they took off. The officer came in contact with the robbers four blocks from the convenience store. The mayor said that was when the robbers shot him and left him to die on the streets. He was found in critical condition and was rushed to the hospital.
According to Only In Our State, Clarksdale, Mississippi, is the 5th most dangerous town to live in within the state. It is said to have a crime rate of 10.36 per one thousand residents.
This story is still developing, however. Stay tuned for updates as they become available. Call the Clarksdale Police Department at (662) 621-8152 if you have any helpful information that could lead to the arrest of these two suspects.
See the video surveillance HERE.
As of Monday morning, two suspects are being held in custody, according to authorities. Fox News reports that one of the suspects were brought in by his father for questioning Sunday afternoon. The other suspect was taken into custody around 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Both were suspected of robbing the convenience store that allegedly led to the shooting of Cpl. Derrick Couch. Fox News also reports Officer Couch is still in critical condition, as he is still at the top trauma center in the area, Regional One Health in Memphis, Tennessee. Vivian Crawford, a nursing supervisor told Fox News. Luckett announced that Couch still has a bullet lodged in his brain, has lost an eye and is on a ventilator.
Both suspects are African-American and the authorities have not released their names.
“This is not a homicide yet. It would be our first this year if it turns into one,” Luckett said. “I can’t remember an officer in Clarksdale shot by a suspect.”
Luckett said the officers had a search warrant to search the homes of the suspects. He also said they found promising evidence at the one suspects home, the one who was brought in for questioning by his father.
Couch has a wife and two children and is a veteran officer. Before working in Clarksdale, he worked as a narcotics officer for the Tunica County Sheriff’s Office.
Luckett said the surveillance video was “harrowing.”
“I’m not sure if Officer Crouch saw [one of the suspects] run or not. Then you see the officer’s lights turn and illuminate the second guy, who’s walking. He walks with a noticeable limp, which is telling,”
A robbery that took place about a month ago at the same convenience store, the Corner Grocery, also had a suspect on surveillance with the same limp walk.
Luckett did say that this will be the first homicide of the year in Clarksdale, should this turn into one.
[Photo by WHBQ via CNN]