Officer OK, suspect still in the hospital

Daniel Clouse

On March 4, a man stole a jeep in Monroe County, led law enforcement on a chase through Itawamba County and was apprehended in Lee County at the intersection of CR 1400 and Hwy. 371. Daniel Clouse, 27, remains in the North Mississippi Medical Center, after an Itawamba County deputy shot the suspect after Clouse rammed the patrol car with the jeep. The suspect then, according to law enforcement, had approached the officer. “I can’t answer why the suspect got out of his vehicle and charged the deputy,” said Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson. “The deputy took care of himself and discharged his firearm.” The incident began when Clouse flagged down a 1980 black Jeep Wrangler from Monroe County. The suspect asked for a ride and then stole the jeep. “They certainly did what they thought was right by trying to help someone like the Good Samaritan in the Bible teaches,” said Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell. “But they turned around and quickly became a victim of something.” The chase began in Itawamba County with Clouse driving recklessly through someone’s yard. According to the Itawamba Sheriff’s Department, the homeowner ran out and fired at the jeep, striking the tires. The Itawamba County deputy received a report about reckless driving and began to chase the suspect into Lee County. At 8:52 p.m. the Lee County Sheriff’s Department was made aware of the chase and shooting. “We’ll be handling the entire investigation because of the officer involved shooting. The officer was with Itawamba County,” said Lee County Sgt. Len Schaefer. “The officer is OK. The suspect is still hospitalized. Clouse will be charged with aggravated assault on an officer, with the weapon being the vehicle.” It’s normal practice, with an officer involved shooting, to not reveal all the facts of the incident until the results of an inquiry conducted by a Grand Jury are completed. “Monroe County will obviously have other charges,” Schaefer said. “We may have additional charges pending after the inquiry is over and we move forward with the criminal investigation.” “Another thing we want to touch on is the fact that there will be two phases to the Grand Jury,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. “The first phase will be the inquiry of the officer involved shooting where the Itawamba County officer fired his weapon and struck the suspect. They’ll (Grand Jury) determine if the shooting was justified or not justified. “There can’t be a lot of comment about the case until that’s done. Then there will be a criminal part with the Grand Jury on the charges garnered from the suspect, during all of it. We’ll give you the results of all this when they are available.”

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