By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – One man was killed Sunday afteroon in a pursuit that ended near Verona on Highway 45.
Traffic was blocked on both lanes of Highway 45 just north of the Green Street exit after the chase.
No local police officials have released a statement on what happened, but Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green said a 40-year-old male was killed in the pursuit. An autopsy will be conducted today.
At about 4:50 p.m. Sunday, Mississippi Highway Patrol officer Casey Mayo said traffic was backed up due to “shots fired in relation to a pursuit.” The investigation was ongoing Sunday night and Mayo said MHP would release an official statement on today.
One eyewitness, Amber Armstrong of the Troy community in Pontotoc County, was driving southbound on Highway 45 when several police vehicles came up behind her.
After she pulled over to let the officers’ vehicles pass, the police stopped traffic on both the north and southbound lanes.
Officers drew their guns and and laid out spikes in the northbound lane of Highway 45, Armstrong said.
A vehicle Armstrong described as a “huge hunter green SUV,” driving north in the northbound lane, hit the spikes. The vehicle lost control and hit the median.
Armstrong left the scene of the wreck, but saw the SUV’s driver and described him as a “light-skinned black male or a white male,” and said he “took off running.
Traffic was rerouted around that area of Highway 45 for a few hours after the incident.
Officers from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and MHP responded to the scene.