On May 15, a 911 call was transfered to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department about shots fired and a shooting.
A red or maroon SUV had been seen driving on CR 931. It stopped briefly at house number 505, north of the Lake Piomingo entrance and fired shots into the residence.
Two black males, wearing masks, were seen at the end of the driveway. They then jumped back in the SUV and headed north.
“There were two young males, 15 and 16, in the house, one was asleep on the couch. One bullet went through the home and stuck that juvenile in the leg,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. “Both heard several rounds being fired.The other male was not shot. He saw the red SUV. There were no adults in the home at the time.”
The suspects did not enter the home. They just left. Investigators found several spent rounds near the road. The juveniles had only been living at this residence for a couple of weeks.
“We believe it’s possible there was an individual, who lived there prior to the shooting, who may have been the target,” Johnson said. “So shortly after the incident we realized this wasn’t a random shooting, that’s what had us look for this particular individual.”
This particular individual was Adam Caleb Owens, a registered sex offender, who had been arrested on Aug. 29, 1994 in Lowndes County for rape and carnal knowledge of a child under 14 years of age.
“We found him. A deputy spotted him east of Guntown, made a traffic stop — saw he was wanted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC),” Johnson said. “He also had a large quanity of drugs and cash on him.”
Owens, 43, was also driving a stolen truck. He had given an incorrect address as a registered sex offender.
An offender is required to personally appear at any MS Department of Public Safety (MDPS) Drivers License station to continue the process of registration by submitting a copy of the completed Convicted Sex Offender Registration Form and paying an $11.00 registration fee.
Thereby, the Offender is issued a sex offender photograph card, is also given the first 90-day registration date and is advised of the continuing requirement to verify registration information each 90-day re-registration period. Owens had not verified his last address.
“So at this point, we don’t think the kids had anything to do with this. Wrong place, wrong time as they say. We believe, this individual (Owens) was the target and he lived at this address at some point. The individuals, who did the shooting, believed he (Owens) was living there. He wasn’t there then, but we think he did live there not long ago,” Johnson said. “Now, let me say this. If the individual (Owens), who was the target lived at this residence with the permission. or knowledge of his criminal behavior, by these kids — the story could change. But we don’t know that.”
Owens is in the Lee County Jail, and will remain there because there’s been a hold placed on him by MDOC. He has been charged with failure to register properly as a sexual offender, felony possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, insurance violation, possession of a schedule narcotic, possession of Sch. II controlled substance with intent to sell, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and violation of parole.
His total bond was set at $117,200. The Courier was able to run his mugshot, since it was on file, due to previous run-ins with the law.
“I do want your readers to know — houses don’t usually get shot into unless there’s some connection to dope,” Johnson said. “We don’t want the public to think some random guys are running around, in a red vehicle, just shooting things up.”
The Lee County Sheriff’s Department does want to know if you witnessed anything on CR 931, on May 15, about 9 a.m.; have knowledge of the red SUV or the drivers of that vehicle. They also warn you if you have information about this event, and don’t report it — it could be you who ends up arrested.
The LCSD is located at 510 Commerce St, in Tupelo and can be reached at (662) 841-9040.