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Two sheriff's deputies shot in New Hope

 

Bill Smith with the Columbus Police Department, left, and Jim Robbins with Columbus Fire and Rescue examine evidence in a yard on Drake Circle in New Hope Tuesday. Law enforcement from multiple agencies responded after two Lowndes sheriff’s deputies were shot.

Bill Smith with the Columbus Police Department, left, and Jim Robbins with Columbus Fire and Rescue examine evidence in a yard on Drake Circle in New Hope Tuesday. Law enforcement from multiple agencies responded after two Lowndes sheriff’s deputies were shot. Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

 

County and state law enforcement stand inside a taped-off area of Drake Circle in New Hope on Tuesday afternoon after a shooter fired at and hit two Lowndes County Sheriff's deputies.

County and state law enforcement stand inside a taped-off area of Drake Circle in New Hope on Tuesday afternoon after a shooter fired at and hit two Lowndes County Sheriff's deputies.
Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

 

An ambulance leaves the scene of a Tuesday afternoon shooting that occurred in Drake Hill subdivision off Yorkville Road. Two deputies were wounded in the incident.

An ambulance leaves the scene of a Tuesday afternoon shooting that occurred in Drake Hill subdivision off Yorkville Road. Two deputies were wounded in the incident.
Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

 

The home at 487 Drake Circle in New Hope is pictured after Tuesday's shooting.

The home at 487 Drake Circle in New Hope is pictured after Tuesday's shooting.
Photo by: Mary Alice Truitt/Dispatch Staff

 

Coscia

Coscia

 

 

Sarah Fowler and William Browning

 

Two deputies with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department were shot and another injured Tuesday afternoon in a residential area of New Hope. 

 

Deputies Larry Swearingen and Clint Sims were transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle with gunshot wounds after the incident, which occurred just after 1 p.m. at 487 Drake Circle. 

 

Neighbors at the scene in the Drake Hill subdivision identified Kent M. Coscia, who lives at the home, as the man who shot the officers. 

 

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is handling the case, according to Lowndes County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Marc Miley. 

 

Coscia was arrested on scene. He is currently in the custody of the Monroe County Detention Facility awaiting bond. 

 

Lisa Ratliff, who lives across the street two houses down from Coscia, witnessed the midday shooting. 

 

"All I can tell you is, it was hell," Ratliff said. 

 

Law enforcement have not commented publicly on the specifics of the incident. Neighbors said two deputies arrived at the home at noon and after knocking on the front door and appearing to receive no response, more law enforcement officers came to the scene. 

 

Chase Ratliff, the son of Lisa Ratliff who also witnessed the incident, said authorities then donned "full tactical" gear before once again approaching the home's front door. It seemed like law enforcement agents threw a flash grenade into the home, according to Ratliff. 

 

"Next thing I knew, there was shooting," Lisa Ratliff said. "It was unreal." 

 

Chase Ratliff said he heard six rapid shots. Those shots are believed to have come from the suspect. There are unconfirmed reports that the shots came through the front door, which was closed. Some bullets struck the outside of the home directly across the street. 

 

One of the deputies who was on the front porch fell back into the yard and rolled to the ground screaming. Authorities scattered. Another officer who was struck by the gunfire near the front porch was pulled by other officers to behind a white Toyota Camry parked in the home's driveway, according to Lisa Ratliff. 

 

Miley confirmed two deputies were shot during the incident. Deputy Scott Glasgow was also wounded in the left hand. It is unknown, however, if the wound was a result of gunfire. 

 

Roughly 20 seconds after the shooting, a man walked out of the home and placed what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle on the porch and then walked into the yard with his hands in the air, according to neighbors. He was taken into custody. 

 

Swearingen was struck by one bullet in the upper right abdomen and arrived at the hospital at approximately 1:55 p.m. Sims was struck by one bullet in the leg and arrived at the hospital at approximately 2:25 p.m., according to scanner traffic.  

 

Swearingen and Sims underwent surgery at BHM-GT Tuesday. Both are listed in stable condition.  

 

Lisa Ratliff has lived in the Drake Hill subdivision for 16 years. She described it as a quiet neighborhood where people keep to themselves. 

 

She said Coscia has lived at 487 Drake Circle for roughly two years. He is married and at least one young child lives with him and his wife.  

 

New Hope High School campus was temporarily on lockdown until the shooter was taken into custody. 

 

Agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations were called to the scene, which was still roped off with yellow crime scene tape at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

 

Coscia's bond hearing is expected to be held later today. 

 

Dispatch managing editor Slim Smith, photographer Mary Alice Truitt, editorial assistant Carol Boone and news editor William Browning contributed to this report.

 

The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.

 

 

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