West Point police search for shooting suspect who was expected to surrender

December 29, 2009 11:05:00 AM



WEST POINT -- The alleged shooter of a West Point juvenile was scheduled to turn himself in to authorities at 10 o''clock this morning, according to the West Point Police Department. But, when he didn''t show up at the police station, authorities went looking for him. 


The suspect, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, is charged with the Dec. 21 shooting of Marcus Johnson, a Starkville juvenile who the WPPD said transferred to the West Point School District due to a history of violent discipline problems.  


Police believe the suspect initially had fled to Atlanta after the incident, but he returned to the area this week. His mother, whose name also is being withheld, said she would bring the suspect to the WPPD this morning. 


When the two did not arrive at the police station, officers this morning planned to go to the suspect''s home to arrest him. 


Johnson was shot six times in the torso by a .38 caliber pistol while walking along Kitty Dill Memorial Parkway walking trail in West Point. He was taken to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. 


On Christmas Eve, the victim still was sedated at the Tupelo hospital and was unable to speak with authorities. 


But he spoke to WPPD investigators on Friday, Christmas Day, after awaking from sedatives. 


Saturday, Johnson was intubated and still in the intensive care unit, but his condition was improving. Johnson remains in the hospital, but has been moved from the ICU. 


One of the six shots lodged near Johnson''s spine. It is unknown if he will regain full use of his legs. 


The cause of the shooting is unknown, but officials speculate Johnson is a gang member in the same gang as his assailant.