April 11, 2012 10:13:44 AM
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating an early Monday morning shooting by a Columbus Police Department officer in the 1100 block of Wheat Street.
A CPD source, who asked not to be named, Tuesday said Officer James Hanson has been placed on a paid administrative leave, pending the investigation.
Public Information Officer Glenda Buckhalter and the CPD did not release the name of the officer involved, nor did MBI.
But Buckhalter said the shooting occurred around midnight April 10. Hanson was responding to a burglary at 607 21st Ave. N, when he was told to look out for a green Honda Accord. The car was spotted on 14th Avenue and the driver turned onto Wheat Street, before stopping. The driver, Jequanta Harris, 22, of 3550 Hwy. 373, and an unknown passenger exited the vehicle. The passenger fled on foot and Harris was shot for failing to comply with Hanson, Buckhalter said, noting a gun was found in the vehicle. About two kilos of marijuana was also found in the Honda.
The vehicle's passenger is still is being sought by Columbus police.
Harris was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle and later was airlifted to University Medical Center in Jackson. He was listed in good condition this morning. Harris' family declined to comment on the matter.
The Meridian Star reported Harris was arrested for possession of marijuana by the Meridian Police Department in January 2010.
Hanson is the second CPD officer to be placed on leave, while under investigation, in about the past two months.
Officer John Rice was placed on paid administrative leave, after a Feb. 4 shooting at the Dutch Village gas station on Highway 50 in East Columbus.
Police Chief Selvain McQueen would not comment on Monday's shooting, but did confirm "an officer had been placed on paid administrative leave." He said the investigation of the Feb. 4 shooting is "ongoing."
Local law enforcement agencies routinely place officers on leave and turn the case over to MBI, when an officer discharges a firearm in the line of duty.
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