SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — An undercover sting at a Southaven gas station lead to an officer firing his gun at a suspected robber.
A crime spree ended at a gas station along Stateline Road near Interstate 55 on Thursday. Police were conducting an undercover sting when an officer shot one suspect as three others were being cuffed.
Retired Shelby County Sheriff Captain Bennie Cobb said firing the weapon is a last resort.
“No police officer wants to take a life or to injury anybody," Cobb said.
He’s not connected to the Southaven case, but Cobb said he understands why the officers pulled the trigger.
“Nothing is routine," he said. "They knew that they were investigating a violent crime that had happened a couple of days earlier.”
The four men now in custody are believed to be responsible for trying to rob a 16-year-old girl Wednesday at her Yorktown Drive home.
The men charged are 19-year-old Michael Jones, 17-year-old Mikkos McIntosh, 17-year-old Antavious Whitelo and 18-year-old Dantirius Freeman. Both minors are being charged as adults. Freeman's photo is not yet released because he is still awaiting extradition from Shelby County.
Detectives said the men were posing as sellers of a cell phone when the botched robbery went down.
Police lured the men to the gas station the following day under the ruse that they were customers from the popular LetGo app, where people can buy and sell used items.
From the start of the sting, investigators said things went sour, and one of the men allegedly rammed two police cars and reached for a gun. At that moment, the officer fired.
“Well, you have to always expect the unexpected," Cobb said.
Cobb said this stands as a reminder of how there’s no such thing as a routine operation.
“Law enforcement is a dangerous profession," he said. “It’s their job to protect the citizens, and I think in this case from what I’m hearing, and what I saw, I think this is one of those situations.”
WREG has reached out to authorities to see if the officers were wearing body cameras and to get the suspects' names.