Thursday, June 25, 2009
Crime spree involves two counties
By SUE WATSON
A Tate County man landed in the hospital last week after going off on what appears to be a rampage. It ended with the suspect being shot by a Tate County deputy following a chase into Marshall County.
Kenny Dickerson, sheriff in Marshall County, said Mario Taylor of the Tyro community was shot one or more times after the suspect rammed the deputy’s patrol vehicle several times and aimed a shotgun at the Tate County officer. Both the suspect and the deputy were airlifted to the Memphis Med, he said, and both were in stable condition as of Monday.
Dickerson described the incident after talking with Tate County law officers.
It began in the Tyro community June 16 when the 26-year-old Taylor physically assaulted his mother at their home and forcibly took the keys to her white Ford Explorer and a pump action .410 shotgun from a closet at the residence, he said.
“Evidence supports that from there he drove to a location on Highway 4 near Wyatte and shot an acquaintance, Larry Mosley, 22, at close range,” Dickerson said. “Mosley was left dead in his car, parked along Highway 4 in the Wyatte/Tyro area.”
After shooting Mosley, authorities believe Taylor drove to a small store in the area and robbed the owner at gunpoint, taking a small amount of cash.
Following the robbery, the store owner is believed to have fired one or more shots at Taylor’s Ford Explorer as he fled and that Taylor returned fire with the .410 shotgun.
The suspect travelled through the county before arriving in the Wall Hill area of Marshall County where he stopped at his uncle’s house and forced his uncle into the Ford Explorer at gunpoint, Dickerson said.
“The uncle reported to us that Taylor told him he had just robbed a place,” Dickerson said. “A Tate County deputy spotted the white Explorer the suspect and the uncle were riding in. The uncle managed to jump out of the Explorer as it slowed upon approaching a store at Wall Hill near the Tate/Marshall County line.”
The Tate County deputy pursued the white Explorer driven by the suspect eastward on Wall Hill Road in Marshall County until the suspect slowed the vehicle at the intersection of state highway 309 and Wall Hill Road.
The two drivers slowed their vehicles at the intersection and the suspect rammed the deputy’s car, striking the driver’s side midway between the door post and the back door, causing extensive damage to the patrol car, Dickerson said. The deputy and his canine partner were in the patrol car at the time Taylor used his Explorer to ram the vehicle one or more times, he said.
Dickerson said it is believed the deputy fired several shots at the suspect from inside the patrol car in an effort to stop Taylor from ramming his vehicle.
“Both the suspect and the deputy eventually got out of their cars and the suspect was attempting to fire the shotgun at the deputy - pointing it at the deputy numerous times,” Dickerson said. “It is believed the suspect was not able to properly operate the shotgun - most likely the only reason the officer was not shot.”
The deputy fired his gun at the suspect, striking Taylor one or more times, he said.
Marshall County radio traffic alerted the sheriff’s department. Dickerson and his officers arrived at the intersection at Wall Hill Road and Highway 309 to find the scene already crowded with medical personnel and officers with the Watson Volunteer Fire Department and Marshall County deputies.
The suspect was lying face up in the middle of Highway 309 and was receiving emergency medical assistance when Dickerson arrived. A .410 shotgun lay near Taylor’s body within hand’s reach, he said. The gun had one live round in the chamber in the ready-fire position and several other rounds were found in the suspect’s pocket and around the crime scene.
“The suspect was alert and talking,” said Dickerson. “The Tate County deputy was in another vehicle and complaining about severe leg pain, which I believe could have been caused when his patrol car was rammed.”
The deputy also had a laceration on the face and was receiving medical attention. Minutes later two helicopters arrived and transported Taylor and the deputy to the Memphis Med. Both appeared in stable condition, he said.
The suspect was placed in guarded custody at The Med.
Other officers arrived at the scene to help control traffic and to collect evidence. Officers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and investigators with the Criminal Investigation Bureau assisted in collecting evidence back to the Mississippi Crime Lab.
Taylor will face numerous charges from Tate County. A murder warrant for his arrest has already been issued, Dickerson said.
“I was also told that Taylor will be charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, domestic violence and auto theft in addition to murder,” Dickerson said.
Taylor could also face charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and felony fleeing of a law enforcement officer in Marshall County, the sheriff said.
“This is an instance in law enforcement where you never know from one minute to the next what will happen,” said Dickerson. “It is an example of what law enforcement and the public face on a daily basis.”
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