Authorities are at this hour still searching for Emmanuel Wooten. They say this suspect in the recent shooting of a child last week, shot at police last night and was shot himself but ran away and hasn't been seen since.
The search began last night when Lauderdale County sheriff's deputies tried to stop Wooten's vehicle for questioning. Three deputies ordered Wooten to exit with their guns trained on the vehicle. But when the suspect got out, he had his own gun in hand, which led to a shootout between the suspect and deputies. The deputies took cover behind their vehicle. And though several bullet holes pierced the SUV, none of those men were hit.
"You know God was looking down on those three men yesterday," Sheriff Billy Sollie says.
The deputies do believe that the suspect was hit during that gunfire. Wooten ran away while shooting over his shoulder. But a nearby witness says he heard the gunfire. And Wooten told him he was injured as he was escaping through his yard.
"Shots were fired, lots of shots, like 12 to 15. Then a guy comes running through my backyard. I said, 'What's going on?' He said, 'I'm shot in the back,' and went into the thick woods," Robert Welch says.
The sheriff's department, the SWAT team, K-9 units and highway patrol from as far as Hattiesburg came to assist in the search. Law enforcement set up a parameter in the area and even evacuated a local church in an effort to keep the public safe.
"This once again brings home that we have bad people living in our community that are not afraid of citizens, certainly not afraid of law enforcement. Everyone needs to be very careful, very mindful that there is evil in this world," Sheriff Sollie says.