Man injured after being shot by Mississippi Highway Patrol

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WALNUT, Miss. — Police are investigating after a 45-year-old white man was severely injured after he was shot during a weekend exchange of gunfire with Mississippi Highway Patrol officers.

The shooting occurred Sunday near the small community of Walnut in northern Mississippi’s Tippah County, according to a news release Monday from the Mississippi attorney general’s office.

The man was in critical condition and receiving medical care. No more information was immediately available. The Associated Press left a message with the Mississippi Department of Public of Safety requesting comment.

The New Albany Police Department is assisting with the investigation to determine whether officers’ use of force was legally justified.

Police Chief Chris Robertson said he could not comment on the details of the investigation, but that officials have interviewed at least one witness.

State law says the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is responsible for investigating when a person is killed or injured after being shot by city or county law enforcement. However, when a state highway patrol officer is involved, the attorney general’s office must designate an outside agency to investigate, according to a law that took effect July 1.

Michelle Williams, chief of staff at the Mississippi attorney general’s office, said this is the first time the office has needed to designate an agency to help investigate a shooting.

“Within the next 36 hours from now, about 48 hours from yesterday, we will have an interview with the officers, and then we’ll be able to proceed from there,” Williams said.

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