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