Autopsy reveals Ricky Ball was shot twice


Andrew Hazzard



Ricky Ball, the 26-year-old shot and killed by a Columbus police officer Friday, died as a result of blood loss due to two gunshot wounds. 


Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant said an autopsy was conducted Monday at the state Crime Lab in Jackson. Two bullets were removed from Ball's body, according to Merchant. 


Ball was shot by a police officer about 10 p.m. Friday. He was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle and pronounced dead roughly an hour later. 


CPD has turned the investigation over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, per department policy. MBI and CPD have given out few details on the events that led to officers using force last week.  


MBI spokesperson Warren Strain said Wednesday morning that only the preliminary autopsy results are in at this time, and that more tests will be run.  


"The preliminary autopsy has been conducted, but still there are samples that have to be processed through the crime laboratory," Strain said. "So that report won't be completed until those results come back through the crime lab." 


Strain said there are a series of samples that are taken during the course of the autopsy and those samples must be processed to ensure a thorough investigation.  


Strain said he has not spoken directly with the medical examiner and could not say exactly where the two bullets struck Ball. He said MBI hopes the community can be patient.  


The incident that led to Ball's death began around 10 p.m. with a traffic stop near the intersection of 21st Street North and 14th Avenue North in Columbus, Strain said. CPD attempted to pull over the car -- which Merchant said was a Mercury Grand Marquis -- for a routine traffic stop. Carleton said Tuesday night, during a city council meeting, that the stop was initiated because of a faulty tail light on the vehicle. Strain said a female driver did not stop immediately. 


"The driver didn't stop," Strain said. "From what I understand, Mr. Ball jumped from the car and ran. They proceeded on foot. And that's what we're trying to sort out now, what happened from the time he left the vehicle to the time he was fatally wounded."  


CPD began wearing Axon body cameras department wide in early 2015. Strain said that any footage and audio recordings will be part of MBI's investigation.  


"They are issued body cameras and that video will be reviewed," Strain said. "That'll be part of the case file as well."  


The Dispatch, at the scene in the Memphis Town neighborhood Tuesday, saw three locations that had recently been taped off by authorities.  


Eric Collins, an area resident, led The Dispatch to a home in the 1900 block of 14th Avenue North. In the small crevice underneath the rear of the home, Collins and other residents said Ball hid from police. CPD officers found Ball there, neighbors said. 


There were remnants of crime scene tape and dried blood on the side panels of the white house.  


CPD Chief Tony Carleton announced Monday that three officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. He declined to name the officers. 


Dispatch reporter Isabelle Altman contributed to this story.




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