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News Mississippi Investigates: What It Takes to Clear a Cop After a Shooting

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Courtney Carter

Canton– A Canton Police Officer and a Madison County Deputy are on administrative leave after shooting Torres Harris, 53, dead at Peace Street Coin Laundry in Canton when he wouldn’t lower his weapon. Harris had just shot his stepdaughter, Melissa Primer. 

Canton Police Officer Eugene Luckett and Madison County Deputy Bubba Thomas are on administrative leave following the shooting Monday. Administrative leave is common procedure.

“By policy and procedure, officers are placed on administrative leave pending an investigation,” Canton Chief of Police Otha Brown says the officers will return to work once the investigation clears them.

The administrative leave does not mean that the officers are in trouble. In this case, the officers are asked to step away while this case is further investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. The bullets fired from the officers are collected as well as their weapons to get a better picture of what happened.

“They’ll ( Mississippi Bureau of Investigation) take the bullets and process them. They’ll make sure the area the suspect was standing, how many times he was shot, and the area they were standing in,” says Chief Brown.

Chief Brown added that Torres Harris had been asked multiple times to lower his weapon and that he was tazed.

“It had no effect on him. He pointed his gun again at the officers and they unfortunately had to discharge their weapons.”

Jerry Bouie, the owner of Peace Street Coin Laundry, was on the scene yesterday. Bouie will also help in the investigation, “I have to open the back so they can retrieve bullets. And I’ll have to open the other room so they can get the security tape.”

There is no word yet on how long the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will take to investigate the shooting. Melissa Primer, the stepdaughter that Harris shot, died at the hospital.

Here’s the unedited phone interview with Canton Police Chief Otha Brown:

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