Man arrested in Miss. highway shootings

May 18, 2012 10:13:15 AM



JACKSON -- Police have arrested a suspect in two fatal highway shootings in Mississippi that prompted warnings a fake officer might be pulling over victims. 


Authorities said early today that the fears of an impostor turned out to be unfounded. Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain told The Associated Press that the suspect, James D. Willie, 28, had not been posing as a police officer in the shootings. 


Willie was being held on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and rape and would be formally charged with two counts of capital murder, Strain said. He was being held at the Tunica County jail in north Mississippi. 


Willie was arrested Tuesday morning when authorities responded to a disturbance at an apartment. Tunica police found Willie with a woman who claimed he had raped her, a news release said. When Willie was arrested, authorities found a 9mm Ruger in his possession. Ballistic testing later found that it was the same gun used in the two highway shootings, authorities said. 


Strain said Willie is a convicted felon, but he did not have details about his previous arrests. 


Fears that a fake cop may have been behind the shootings prompted authorities to urge drivers to use caution when approached by any vehicle with flashing blue lights, even telling people they could call 911 if they were being pulled over.