Jones deputy reflects on the night he almost died - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Jones deputy reflects on the night he almost died


Almost a year ago, Jones County Sheriff's Deputy, Tony Stiles, saw his life flash right before his eyes.

It was Sunday, July 29, 2012, most of Jones County deputies were spending time with their families. But when a hostage crisis in North Laurel began to unfold they all quickly responded.

"I don't think anyone knew what we were going to be up against that night", said Jones County Sheriff's Department Major Don Scott.

"I got the phone call from central dispatch," said Major Robbie Suber,"that there was a shooting on Upper Hamilton Road, at the time we knew that there were some children still in the home."

Suber said, he decided to call in the counties 12 member SWAT team that was commanded by  Lieutenant Tony Stiles. He also called in Major Don Scott and the negotiation team.

According to Major Scott, their perpetrator, Neil Newcomb, was very agitated. He was ranting and raving but just before dusk, about an hour of negotiating, Newcomb released both of the children.

Several hours later, around midnight, the deputies received word that Newcomb's ex-wife was possibly still alive and still held hostage inside the home. So they made the difficult decision to send in the SWAT team.

Lieutenant Stiles described the chaotic scene as he and his team breached the door.

"As soon as my foot crossed the threshold of the door I started taking shots. I think the first shot hit my arm. I was taking bullets, but I couldn't see Neil."

"I got hit the second time and I still could not find him. I was still looking. I got hit two more times and three times. I got hit in the stomach I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take another hit. I grabbed my radio and keyed up and said I am wounded I need an ambulance. I was dying. Everything was going black."

In part two of our story Wednesday, Seven on Your Side will tell you how Stiles survived and what the past year of recovery has been like.

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