Little progress in Hattiesburg bridge shooting investigation - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Authorities say little progress in Hattiesburg bridge shooting investigation

Mary Ann Barnes Mary Ann Barnes
James Smith James Smith
The location of the shooting, The Glendale Bridge The location of the shooting, The Glendale Bridge

Forrest County authorities say the investigation continues into the shooting of a Hattiesburg bank vice president.

Deputies said Tuesday that Mary Ann Barnes is recovering from the multiple gunshot wounds she sustained in a Dec. 19 incident underneath the Glendale Bridge in Hattiesburg. 

James Smith, 42, was arrested less than a week later and charged with two counts of aggravated assault and attempted armed robbery. He remains in jail on $450,000 bond.

Barnes has given a statement to authorities which has not been made public. Smith is refusing to talk.

Smith fired his court appointed public defender and has hired an attorney from Belzoni, Miss. 

A preliminary hearing could be held in late February.    

Barnes, vice president of Hattiesburg's Trustmark National Bank and office manager of the downtown offices, drove herself to a the law offices of state representative Percy Watson after the shooting where employees called for help. 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. The case was then handed over to Forrest County authorities. Since that time, few details have been made available by law enforcement, and the people involved decline opportunities to speak with the media.

Sources close to the investigation said Barnes was parked under the bridge talking to an acquaintance when Smith allegedly tried to rob them both. After shots were fired, the acquaintance jumped out of the truck, sources said.

Police urge anyone with details to call 601-582-7867.

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