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Suspect charged, Quitman officer released from hospital after knife attack

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:59 PM CDT
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QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A Quitman police officer is at home recovering after being attacked by a man with a knife Thursday morning.

Sheriff Todd Kemp was standing next to Quitman police officer Thereasa Haire when she was attacked.

“I’ve never been in a situation like that where I saw an officer injured that quickly and that severely,” Kemp recalled. “It happened so fast. You didn’t really have any time to think and didn’t have any time to react.”

It all started around 11 a.m. at Sellers Apartments on Church Street. Authorities said Brad Sellers, 39, locked himself in a room. They said his father tried to get him out when Sellars cut him.

When Quitman police arrived, Sellers was still in the bedroom. Sheriff Kemp was also called to the scene and was in the apartment when Sellers attacked Haire.

“The suspect opened the door approximately six to eight inches. Officer Haire was standing in close proximity to the doorknob,” Kemp explained. “She was going to grab the doorknob and it was at that point the individual reached out with a large knife and sliced her arm to the bone. She started bleeding profusely and it was at that point I told her, ‘Get out of here. Get out of here and get medical help.”

Kemp said Haire ran out of the apartment to a Paratech Ambulance that was already outside on standby. Meanwhile, Kemp and Deputy Bill Howell went after Sellers.

“Officer Howell kicked the door in and deployed his Taser. We were on top of him in a matter of seconds and were able to take him into custody without any further incident,”

Newscenter 11 highlighted Officer Haire in a 2018 edition of First Responders. She’s been with the Quitman Police Department for 14 years. According to Quitman Police Chief Mike McCarra, Officer Haire is back home and recovering.

“We are very blessed that she’s going to be okay. We heard that surgery was successful and believe that she will make a full recovery,” Kemp said.

Brad Sellers is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer. Municipal Judge Jim Potuk denied bond Friday afternoon. The Mississippi Department of Corrections has put a hold on Sellers.

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