JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge is asking for prayers one night after a hostage standoff left one of his deputies fighting for his life and the rest of the force undergoing state-provided counseling.
Hodge said, "Our prayer and intercessory prayer is that God heals him."
On Sunday Lieutenant Tony Stiles was shot five times during a hostage standoff with Neil Newcomb on Upper Hamilton Road in Shady Grove, said Hodge.
"When Lieutenant Stile came through the door with his rifle raised, Mr. Newcomb opened fire on him with a SKS rifle," said Hodge, "striking him in the left arm and approximately four times in the abdomen which caused serious internal injures."
He said Stiles was wearing a level-one $3,500 bulletproof vest, but when he raised his arm to fire his gun, his vest lifted up. He added the way Newcomb was barricaded inside the home it put Newcomb in a position to shoot and hit Stiles in the stomach, right below his vest.
Hodge said, "Stiles is in critical but stable condition. He came out of surgery last night, they went in and done what they could in the time that they were allowed to do it. He remains critical and needs much prayer as well as his wife and family and this department."
Hodges said he is confident that Stiles will have a full recovery.
"There is power in prayer. God is the almighty; God can do all things. He is the great physician, great healer, and he can be healed. I am confident in that as a believer myself. I have no doubt. May God's will be done," said Hodge.
Newcomb allegedly shot his ex-wife, Kathy Laterrade, in the head and his son-in-law, Timothy Savell, in the face. Both are expected to survive.
Hodge said, "The last report I had which was yesterday evening, both of them were in stable condition expected to recover."
Newcomb's two grandchildren, ages 5 and 7, who he released to authorities during the standoff, are currently with family.
"A lot of people have been asking what can they do to help and prayers are needed," Hodge added. "You can also make monetary donations at Community Bank an account has been set up under the name of Tony and Tina Stiles."