Courtesy photoTwo police officers, one from New Albany and one from Holly Springs, were injured in a collision during the pursuit.
Suspects still on loose Lawson presents
A multi-agency investigation is underway seeking the identity and whereabouts of three suspects who escaped from local authorities Friday following the break-in of two New Albany businesses.
The pursuit of a 2012 Black Ford Explorer with Tennessee license plates got underway around 3:30 a.m. after people going to work in downtown New Albany witnessed suspects breaking in to 2A Armaments gun shop, four doors down from city hall, said police chief Chris Robertson.
Eyewitnesses called 911 to report a break-in in progress and described the vehicle, the chief said.
New Albany officers responding to the call spotted the vehicle near the city limits and it sped away, getting onto I-22 and heading westbound.
Robertson said the Holly Springs Police Department and the Marshall County Sheriff's Department were notified and Holly Springs set up spike strips just west of the Highway 7 exit.
After hitting the spike strips the driver of the getaway vehicle stopped abruptly, and a New Albany patrol car and a Holly Springs patrol car were involved in an end-to-end collision.
Both officers received minor injuries and Robertson took them to Baptist Hospital in Oxford where they were treated and later released.
Meanwhile, the three suspects fled on foot, and Holly Springs and Marshall County authorities tried to set up a perimeter on into the daylight hours. K-9 units were brought in from DeSoto County and Marshall County, all to no avail.
Officers found all items stolen from 2A Armaments and from the Pure gas station in New Albany. Those items included 23 guns stolen from 2A Arnaments and a safe taken from Pure.
Robertson praised the efforts of all law enforcement personnel for retrieval of the weapons, AR Military-Style assault rifles and semiautomatic pistols.
He said he believes the recovery of all weapons most likely prevented their use in Memphis, Tenn., over the weekend.
The Holly Springs officer received a serious head injury requiring 13 staples, Robertson said. The New Albany officer received head and neck injuries and was still experiencing discomfort Monday morning, June 8, he said.
The perimeter was shut down around 10 a.m. Friday, Chief Robertson said.
New Albany investigators believe the suspects broke in to the Pure gas station first then moved on to 2A Armaments, he said.
Employees with Pure reported the break-in of their business at Highway 15 and East Bankhead Street around 7 a.m. Friday.
Officers with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Oxford, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals, and Memphis police have joined the investigation and search for the identities of the suspects and their locations.
Robertson expects the names of the three suspects may become known this week.
He expressed appreciation for all the help from Holly Springs Police Department and chief Dwight Harris, from the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, DeSoto County Sheriff's Department and all state and federal agencies in joining the investigation.
He commended his officers and Holly Springs and Marshall County officers for prohibiting the 23 weapons from hitting the streets.
Marshall County has also opened a case where security cameras picked up what are believed to be these suspects and their vehicle at First Security Bank's ATM at Highway 309 North and Highway 302, according to Maj. Kelly McMillan with the sheriff's department.
He said surveillance cameras picked up three people trying to break into the ATM machine around 11:20 to 11:30 Thursday night.
Marshall County is working with the entire investigative team on this separate case of attempted burglary/larceny at the ATM location, he said.
Anyone who has any information regarding this incident is asked to call Marshall County Sheriff's Office at 662-252-1311 and ask for the investigations office. A substantial reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and convictions of suspects in this ATM case, he said.