Man killed in Hwy 45 incident had failed to appear in South Mississippi court

By Staff and wire reports

A Picayune man who was shot and killed following a chase that ended on Highway 45 on Sunday afternoon had failed to appear for a court appearance last week in Poplarville, according to a report from The Picayune Item.

Gerald John Wagner, 40, of Picayune, fled after a Trooper tried to stop a him in Monroe County and drove north on Highway 45 Sunday at around 4:30 p.m., according to a news release from MHP.

Wagner twice fired two shots at police, totaling four shots, the release said.

Near the Green Street exit on Highway 45, a Tupelo police officer deployed a “stop stick,” designed to deflate a vehicle’s tires, which blew out the Suburban’s tires and Wagner lost control.

His Suburban sped into the median, and Wagner exited the vehicle brandishing a handgun and continued running, the release said. He did not respond to verbal commands to stop, and, after crossing Highway 45, turned toward state troopers with weapon in hand. It was then he was fatally shot.

The Picayune Item reports Pearl River County Circuit Court records show Wagner knew he was supposed to appear in Circuit Court in Poplarville last Thursday for three indictments. The indictments were for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and for sale of a controlled substance.
The report says Wagner did not show for his court date, court records show.