Gunshot to chest official cause of death in Barley Courts shooting

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – An autopsy confirms the man killed at the Barley Courts apartments Monday died from the gunshot wound to his chest.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green said Gregory Martinez Hughes, 22, of Verona died from the fatal gunshot after 9 a.m. Monday.
Ray Hall, spokesman for the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, said two Tupelo Police officers arrived at the apartments after receiving a call that shots were fired.
Hall said that Hughes fired a shot at a Tupelo officer, who returned fire and fatally wounded him.
Witnesses told a Daily Journal reporter Monday they thought Hughes accidentally shot himself before police fired at him.
Hall said the autopsy showed no self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
The name of the Tupelo Police officer involved in the shooting was not released, and the officer is on paid leave, which is standard procedure until the investigation is complete.
Hall said Lee County Adult Jail officials reported Hughes was released on bond on an aggravated assault charge, which allegedly involved a shooting.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is in charge of the case because a local officer was involved.
The shooting apparently occurred in the stairwell of an outdoor corridor in the middle of Unit 1.
Eyewitnesses said that Hughes was at the top of the stairs, on the upper-level landing just outside apartment No. 6, and that the officer was at the bottom of the 15-step staircase.
They said Hughes fell down several concrete steps after he was shot.
Evidence about the original shots-fired call that prompted the police to visit the scene reportedly was never found and Hall said it is not known whether Hughes had involvement with that incident.
jb.clark@journalinc.comchris.kieffer@journalinc.com