Slain deputy identified, suspect captured
MENDENHALL, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi law enforcement arrested an escaped inmate in connection with the shooting death of a 77-year-old Simpson County sheriff’s deputy.
The Jones County Sheriff’s Department in a social media post identified the slain deputy as James Blair. Blair was continuing to work to provide for six great-grandchildren he and his wife were raising, the post said.
Law enforcement arrested Joaquin Stevens Blackwell, an escaped inmate believed to be involved in the shooting.
The shooting happened at a mental health center in Mendenhall.
Dave Van, the executive director of Regions 8 Health, told a news outlet that Blackwell was in the custody of the sheriff’s department when he was brought to Regions 8 Health for an evaluation. Family members had been concerned about his mental health.
Van told the station that, after the evaluation, the suspect grabbed the deputy’s gun while getting in the car. Then he shot the deputy and left the scene, Van said.