Yazoo Co. Sheriff is looking for person of interest in dog fight - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Yazoo Co. Sheriff is looking for person of interest in dog fight murder

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By Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

YAZOO COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - In a remote area of Vaughan, in north east Yazoo County, Earl Riptoe, 43, was killed. 

Sheriff Thomas Vaughan said an argument erupted at a dog fight and then shots were fired.

"There was probably alcohol, probably gambling, probably whatever," Sheriff Vaughan said. "It is just sad and you're already having an illegal dog fight and then guys get into it and now one of them is dead."

Deputies were responding to reports of gunshots in the area. 

On their way, deputies were flagged down by a driver in Benton. 

The driver said Riptoe was shot and they were going to the hospital. 

Riptoe was found in the back seat and was pronounced dead at the scene.

"He could take his life, but he can't take his memories from us," said Sonja Riptoe, Earl Riptoe's sister. "That's something we'll always have."

Sonja Riptoe said Earl leaves behind four children. 

Sonja Riptoe described him as a dog lover and bred large guard dogs, but did not use them to fight.

"Maybe the people that go to these type of events are hardened by them to the point that they don't really consider human life as much as they would an animal's life," Sonja Riptoe said.

A gun has been recovered from the car where Riptoe's body was found. 

The gun owner is in custody, but Sheriff Vaughan said he does not know if the gun is the murder weapon. 

Investigators were waiting on autopsy results to reveal what kind of gun was used.

"We're going to do everything it takes to get it solved," Sheriff Vaughan said.

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