Police say Ocean Springs officers were assaulted in aftermath of The Scratch Kitchen shooting

Ocean Springs Police Captain Ryan Lemaire says officers were assaulted by people while trying to help in the aftermath of the shooting.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 10:20 AM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - City officials and citizens are back in court Friday morning, with the future of The Scratch Kitchen up in the air. The downtown Ocean Springs restaurant and bar was the site of a mass shooting on Cinco de Mayo that left one dead and six injured.

The city is making attempts to permanently close the restaurant. Ocean Springs issued a temporary restraining order against The Scratch Kitchen May 12, and that same day held a hearing with the goal of issuing a permanent injunction.

The judge called a recess on that May 12 hearing due to The Scratch Kitchen’s owner, Brittany Cruso Alexander, lacking representation in court.

WLOX reporter Leslie Rojas is at the hearing Friday morning. She says Ocean Springs Police Captain Ryan Lemaire testified about previous issues at the restaurant and bar. Last week in court, previous incidents and code violations at the establishment were also discussed.

Lemaire said when officers arrived in the aftermath of the shooting, they made sure the scene was safe, then proceeded to help the victims. He says officers were assaulted by people while trying to help.

In court, video showed who police say is the murder suspect, 22-year-old Fa’Darius Davon Williams, entering The Scratch Kitchen. In the video, the suspect is wearing white and is identified by an arrow.

The video also shows crowds of people tripping and major chaos ensuing after shots are fired.

The Scratch Kitchen’s mass capacity for the back patio is 80 people. Video seems to show well over 100 people in the area.

Murder suspect Fa’Darius Williams was extradited back to Mississippi Tuesday to face charges.

Leslie Rojas will have more on the hearing’s activity Friday evening, both on air and online.

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