Hotel guest shoots Officer


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TheeBadOne
December 17, 2003, 03:26 AM
Wounded deputy still in hospital


GULFPORT Miss- The deputy wounded in an exchange of gunfire at Crystal Inn hotel remained hospitalized in fair condition Monday with his wife by his side.

Harrison County Patrol Deputy Darwin McMahan, 39, was shot just before 1 p.m. Saturday when a hotel guest fired at him and another deputy as they responded to a call for help, sheriff's officials said. The other deputy, whose name hasn't been released, was not hurt.

The hotel guest, 26-year-old James Taylor Jr. of Wilmer, Ala., died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Details of the shooting are being withheld pending an investigation and a grand jury review.

"My husband is in severe pain and I'm a nervous wreck," said McMahan's wife, Amanda.

"I haven't had a wink of sleep," she said. "It's something nobody would want to go through."

McMahan normally works two jobs in addition to his patrol job with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department. His wife runs a private business, but her focus is on her husband until his condition improves, she said.

The couple have five children.

"With 10 days left till Christmas, times are hard," she said.

"It's overwhelming. I'm worrying about him, the children and how to pay that house note."

Details of Saturday's shooting remain unclear. The coroner and sheriff said no details are being released at the request of District Attorney Cono Caranna.

Shootings involving law enforcement officers typically are investigated by another agency before prosecutors present the evidence to a grand jury. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is reviewing this case.

McMahan is the second law enforcement officer in Harrison County to suffer serious wounds in a shootout this year. In February, Lance Chisum of the Biloxi Police Department lost vision in one eye while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Taylor is the second person to die in Harrison County in a police shooting since January, when two Gulfport police officers fired at a man who authorities said refused to drop his gun. The man was wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened just before police approached him. A grand jury ruled that the officers were justified in firing.

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/local/7504734.htm

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