Michael J. Walter (Source: Pearl Police Department)
PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
The incident occurred around 11 Tuesday morning after a call at the Colony Park Apartments south of Interstate 20 in Pearl.
Pearl police Lt. Butch Townsend said three officers were serving a warrant at the apartment complex. They knocked on the door but the man they were looking for didn't answer.
Pearl police were serving an arrest and search warrant on 30-year-old Carnell Gaines, Jr. But district attorney Michael Guest says when officers got management to let them into the apartment, Gaines retreated to a bathroom where he refused to cooperate.
Guest said, "Officers drew down on him, demanding he show his hands. He refused. At some point, we believe one of the officers reached for a taser and attempted to taze him to use non-lethal force, try to subdue the suspect. At that time, the suspect pulled a weapon he had been concealing from officers and began opening fire."
One of the officers returned fire killing Gaines, but not before Gaines shot two of the officers. One of them, 37-year-old Mike Walter died of his wounds at UMC. A second Pearl police officer, Dave McCarley, was shot in the leg and hand. He is in stable condition. The third officer, Shaun Terwilliger, was injured inside the apartment, but his injuries were not caused by gunfire.
"They are good family men who are out here trying to protect and serve when they were in a sense ambushed as they were trying to serve that search warrant; trying to do their job," said Guest. "So these officers followed procedure, but they encountered a suspect who just wasn't going to be taken."
Gaines, who had been charged with sexual battery of a minor, had a criminal record with a 2002 drug conviction in Hinds County.
Walter was hired by the Pearl Police Department in February of 2009 as a patrol officer and promoted to investigator in October 2010.
Pearl police Lieutenant Butch Townsend said in a statement, "Today the Pearl Police Department lost an officer in the line of duty. This is a sad first for our town that was incorporated in 1973."
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was also looking into child pornography charges against Gaines.
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