Man shot in face; Suspect at large

Published 12:26 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2018

By Jeremy Weldon

A Panola County man is hospitalized with gunshot injuries to his jaw and deputies are searching for the suspect.

Sheriff Dennis Darby said he was called to Seven Rd. about 6 a.m. Wednesday where deputies were working the case. The victim was airlifted from the corner of Nash and Seven Rds. with life threatening injuries. He remains in critical condition at Region One Medical Center in Memphis, reports said Thursday.

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He was able to tell officers some of the details and describe the shooter. Deputies immediately began searching the area for a black male between 16-22 years old and wearing a dark sweatshirt with a hoodie.

The victim said he opened his house door when he heard heavy knocking and saw the person had a gun. He told police he thought the person was playing a joke but slammed the door when he realized it was an attempted robbery. The suspect shot through the door, hitting him in the jaw.

Darby said although it is a rural part of the county, many homeowners have surveillance cameras around their property and deputies have been going from house to house all along Seven and Nash Rds. attempting to piece together footage that will lead them to identify a person or vehicle involved in the crime.

“We get some of this every year about this time when schools let out for Christmas break,” Darby said. “Some of the kids are doing some violent things. We’re not sure right now what this will lead to, but we will keep looking until we find him. Somebody will give us some information that we can use eventually.”

Darby said his department has been focusing on that portion of the county west of Batesville for the last few weeks and have made undercover narcotics buys while working drug cases. “We are gathering lots of evidence right now. There’s folks out there that are caught and just don’t know it yet,” he said. Investigators are attempting to use what they’ve learned to connect others, usually higher ups in the drug business, to the petty criminals and small-time dealers.

“We haven’t slowed down a bit for the holidays,” Darby said. “We are out in all parts of the county working everything from the small thefts to the major crimes. I’m asking everyone to keep an eye on their neighbor’s house during the next couple of weeks while school is out and to report anything they see to the dispatchers.”