Four hospitalized after Columbus shooting, MBI handling case

An investigation is under way into a

shooting in Columbus that left four people hospitalized with

gunshot wounds, including a former city councilman and a police


The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was handed the case

Friday at the request of local authorities. The Lowndes County

Sheriff's Department is assisting.

MBI officials said they are sorting through reports about the

incident to determine what happened. No charges had been filed


MBI Investigator Vernon Hathcock said he was "still trying to

figure out what happened."

Police Chief Joseph St. John, who reported exchange gunfire with

the shooter, said he would not comment on the incident until the

MBI investigation was completed.

Three people - former councilman Kamal Karriem, Dorothy Hearn

and police officer Guy Taylor - were in stable condition Saturday

at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus, according

to hospital officials.

Lennell Hearn, who was identified by police as the shooter, was

transferred late Friday from Baptist Memorial to the University of

Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. His condition was not known


Authorities said the first shots were fired just after 5 p.m.

Friday in the Town Square Shopping Center. Dorothy Hearn and

Karriem were shot near the gas pumps in the parking lot, officers


Taylor arrived at the scene and was allegedly shot by the


Columbus Police Department Lt. Carroll Culpepper said the

suspect took Taylor's car and later abandoned it on U.S. Highway

45. Lennell Hearn was wounded by officers outside the Best Western

hotel, police said.

Sherwanda McDaniel, who was shopping at Town Square when the

shooting took place, said she saw the suspect shoot the woman. She

said Karriem came through the front door, holding his lower

abdomen, warning patrons someone was outside shooting.

"After that, we ran into the bathroom. The police told us not

to leave," McDaniel said.