FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Tuesday night, the Forrest County Sheriff's Department arrested a suspect in the mysterious shooting of a Hattiesburg woman.
James Smith, 42, is charged with aggravated assault in connection with the shooting of Mary Ann Barnes. He is now in the Forrest County Jail.
Sources close to the investigation said Barnes was parked under the bridge talking to an acquaintance when Smith tried to rob them both. After shots were fired, the acquaintance jumped out of the truck, sources said.
Forrest County Investigators said they will interview Barnes once she is released from the hospital. Calls to investigators on Wednesday afternoon were not returned.
Barnes originally stated to police the shooting took place at a gas station in the city limits of Hattiesburg, but police later revealed the results of their investigation showed it occurred under the Glendale Bridge which is located just outside the city limits.
Barnes, vice president of Hattiesburg's Trustmark National Bank and office manager of the downtown offices, was shot Monday afternoon and later drove herself to a the law offices of state representative Percy Watson where employees called for help.
Barnes' husband had called police while she was driving, and officers arrived on the scene after she parked. Officers took her original statement at that time. Barnes was later transported to a local hospital. She underwent surgery and is now recovering.
A police report originally said Barnes reported she had been approached by a red vehicle at a Jr. Food Mart gas station at 42 and Glendale Avenue in Hattiesburg. The report went on to say a passenger in that vehicle walked to her car and shot her multiple times, and she then drove approximately 1.2 miles before stopping. That report is now considered incorrect and the information collected false.
Police urge anyone with details to call 601-582-7867.