FRIARS POINT, Miss. (AP) -- Some 100 law enforcement officers turned this sleepy Mississippi Delta town into a virtual war zone after a shooting suspect evaded capture, held one officer hostage and wounded five others during a bloody 36-hour saga.
Residents said police twice unleashed a storm of gunfire that thundered throughout the neighborhood, causing houses to shake. The gunfire was directed at a dumpy one-story house where Patrick Harper was holed up with hostage John Martin-Harris, a Friars Point officer.
"It sounded like a war zone," said Charles Smith, a neighbor who watched the struggle from behind a nearby house.
Mayor Herbert Thomas said none of the five wounded officers was seriously hurt. He said Harper, wanted originally for a Friday night shooting that left a man injured, was in custody.
Friars Point Police Chief Anthony Smith tried to arrest Harper on Saturday when he was spotted walking down a street. But before Smith could get out of his car, he was struck in the neck by a bullet allegedly fired by Harper, said Pamela Vance, who said she witnessed the shooting.
In response, sheriff's deputies and other lawmen streamed into this town of 1,400 about 70 miles southwest of Memphis.
When officers finally located Harper at a friend's house, gunshots rang out and both Martin-Harris and sheriff's deputy Victor Randle were shot, Thomas said.
Around 3 a.m., officers wearing bulletproof vests and armed with shields used a battering ram to bust through the door, said Mississippi Department of Corrections officer Kenny Scott.
"We got the door opened and that's when the shots started," Scott said in a telephone interview from his hospital room.
It wasn't immediately known what led to the shooting Friday night of Friars Point resident Doyle Hunter.
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