- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2002

FRIARS POINT, Miss. (AP) Five law enforcement officers were shot during a bloody 36-hour saga that ended yesterday morning with the arrest of one man in the small Mississippi Delta town of Friars Point.
Mayor Herbert Thomas said none of the five officers was killed, and the man suspected in all five shootings as well as in the shooting of a man on Friday was in custody.
Friars Point Police Chief Anthony Smith had been trying to arrest Patrick Harper in connection with that Friday night shooting when the chief was shot in the neck on Saturday, reportedly by Mr. Harper, Mr. Thomas said.
Chief Smith was hospitalized yesterday in satisfactory condition at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., nursing supervisor Jackie Smartt said. The other officers were reported to be in satisfactory condition or better.
After the police chief was shot, officers from the Coahoma County Sheriff's Department were called in and tracked Mr. Harper to a nearby home in Friars Point, a town of about 1,400 people 200 miles northwest of Jackson.
As officers tried to enter the one-story, ramshackle home just after midnight Saturday, gunshots rang out and both Friars Point Officer John Martin-Harris and sheriff's Deputy Victor Randle were shot, Mr. Thomas said.
With Mr. Harris hurt and apparently taken hostage inside the home, police units from surrounding counties, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Mississippi Department of Corrections were called in.
"The suspect took the officer's radio and handcuffs and his gun, and he started making demands that he wanted all the police cars except for two to leave," Mr. Thomas said.
About 3 a.m., officers wearing bulletproof vests and armed with shields used a battering ram to bust through the door, said Mississippi Department of Corrections Officer Kenny Scott.
"We got the door opened, and that's when the shots started," Officer Mr. Scott said.
Officer Scott was hit in the thigh, and sheriff's Deputy Neal Mitchell was also wounded.
"There was gunfire exchanged all throughout the night," Mr. Thomas said.

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