TATE COUNTY, Miss. — Mississippi authorities say more than 20 people were arrested after a shooting Thursday afternoon on Interstate 55 near Coldwater, and a friend says rapper Big Boogie was one of those arrested.
The Senatobia Police Department said in a statement that Tate County 911 received a report at 12:43 p.m. of a gunshot victim whose vehicle had been shot on I-55 near Coldwater. That person managed to exit the interstate at Senatobia.
Tanette Wilbourn said the victims were followed by people in four vehicles who continued to shoot at the victim’s gold SUV. The suspects then got back on I-55 and headed south with police in pursuit.
“They was burning rocks, they was scorching tires and it was just like a wild, wild west show,” said Wilbourn.
Senatobia Police said they located a caravan of vehicles, and gathered support from several other agencies. When those vehicles exited the interstate at Highway 6 in Batesville, agents coordinated a “takedown and arrest” of the occupants.
Approximately 21 suspects were taken to Panola County Jail from the Batesville scene and four vehicles were impounded, Senatobia Police said.
“The last person, I guess it was like the last person or last two persons didn’t want to get out so they had the guns drawn, they was like, ‘Get out the car! Get out the car!'” said witness Edith Aaron.
One person in the gold SUV was injured by gunfire, police said. That person and the two other occupants were arrested.
Police said they found felony amounts of drugs and cash in the vehicle as well as a gun. One of the people in the SUV is a convicted felon, they said.
Memphis rapper Big Boogie and members of his entourage were among those arrested, according to a member of the entourage, who said he was following the group after missing his ride and saw the arrests happen.
Jason Boon said Big Boogie, whose real name is John Lotts, was on his way to a concert in Biloxi at the time of the shooting. He said he heard gunshots but didn’t know if they came from anyone in the rapper’s group.
“I wouldn’t know who was shooting at that gold SUV. I don’t know where the shots came from. You know, they shoot out here in the country all the time,” said Boon.
Last July, two people were killed and others injured in a shooting during a Big Boogie concert in Panola County. The rapper has a sizable rapsheet in Shelby County.
In May 2020, he was charged with attempted first degree murder in connection with a shooting at a Frayser club, but records show that that case was dismissed due to lack of prosecution.
“It was two sets of vans out there. They could have arrested them, but not Big Boogie. Big Boogie had a whole show. He’s a whole CMG artist. He’s not gonna do nothing, no such thing,” said Boon.
Authorities have not officially released the identities of those arrested and it’s still unclear how many will be charged.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics are leading the investigation, Senatobia Police said.
Note: This story has been updated to reflect one gunshot victim in the incident.