'I cannot believe he did this': Grandmother of suspect in police shooting speaks

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After hours on the run, Victor Kirksey, the man police say shot and wounded a Hattiesburg police officer Monday morning, is in custody. He is charged with at least three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer with possibly more charges coming.

"I'm hurt. I'm hurt. I am so hurt," Susan Edwards, Kirksey's grandmother, said.

During the manhunt, WDAM cameras were rolling as Edwards watched federal, state and local law enforcement teams search for her grandson.

WARNING: Video below contains some strong language:

"It shocked me. I never knew that Victor could ever get that serious about something," Edwards said. "He's always been a quiet child. He never ever snapped. He's just lost it.  It's unbelievable."

Police say Kirksey shot a Hattiesburg police officer in the leg early Monday morning while officers were serving a search warrant at a home on Lexington Drive. When the officer went down, Kirksey fled.

After hours of searching and leading officers on a long, winding path, Kirksey was tracked down back on Lexington Drive.

Man accused of shooting Hattiesburg police officer in custody

"The area he ran into was very dense," Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said. "A lot of underbrush. You could have walked up on him and not have seen him. I would like to give kudos to the tracking dogs from Louisiana. They helped make all of this possible."

Rigel said dogs with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections tracked Kirksey just before 6 p.m.

"The dogs ran up on him," Rigel said. "The officers were there, and, like I said, he started firing. He still had a weapon with him. The weapon has been taken into custody. He fired at the responding officers, and they returned fire."

Rigel said Kirksey was struck by gunfire. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. His condition is unknown.

"There may be another weapon involved. We recovered one," Rigel said. "But, it's still preliminary investigation and we have a lot of legwork to do."

"I would never have thought Victor would do anything like this," Edwards said. "I cannot believe he did this. I cannot believe this happened."

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating both crime scenes, the initial scene where the officer was shot and the second scene where Kirksey was shot by police.

Hattiesburg police said Kirksey is connected to the Saturday morning incident on McInnis Loop where Hattiesburg officers where shot at by someone on the run.

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