'Turf war' between law enforcement agencies unfolds after shooti - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

'Turf war' between law enforcement agencies unfolds after shooting

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A shooting in Como, Mississippi Thursday afternoon appears to be the result of a 'turf war' between investigating agencies that escalated into a shoving match. A shooting in Como, Mississippi Thursday afternoon appears to be the result of a 'turf war' between investigating agencies that escalated into a shoving match.
It ended with the Como police chief in the back of a deputy's squad car. It ended with the Como police chief in the back of a deputy's squad car.
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COMO, MS -

(WMC-TV) - A major feud appears to have unfolded in one Mid-South county between law enforcement agencies.

A suspected turf war between two law enforcement agencies seems to escalated while they were investigating a shooting scene in Como, Mississippi.

"I said, 'They in there fighting and my son is in there,'" said Laverne Wilbourn, who says she saw the scuffle between Como Police Chief Earl Burdette and Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby.

"All I was trying to do was get my son out of there because they were fighting," she continued. "They had guns and mace and I didn't know what was going to happen."

The sheriff's office dispatches for the small police department in Como.

After a shooting in town, Action News 5's Michael Clark was told they had a tough time reaching an officer, so nearby deputies were sent to investigate.

Both agencies showed up.

Wilbourn's son witnessed the shooting and Chief Burdette took him to the police station, but Wilbourn says the sheriff followed them to get statements.

"Burdette come to the door and was like, 'Y'all can't come in here and take over, just stand still,' and the man pushed Burdette," she sad.

Wilbourn says a shouting and shoving match began at the entrance to the police station, eventually moving inside.

"The next thing I know, Burdette comes out with his hands behind his back and they had his badge, his gun, and his mace," she recalled.

Burdette, who used to work for Sheriff Darby, was never charged.

The district attorney says Sheriff Darby can respond to calls anywhere in the county. Neither agency would talk to media about the case.

The shooting victim is expected to recover, while Panola County looks for the person who pulled the trigger.

The district attorney said it could be up to the agencies to file a charge against an officer, but a judge would have to decide to sign off on an arrest warrant. An outside agency will look into the dispute.

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