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Violence strikes Mississippi: multiple dead in two seperate standoffs

by Courtney Deeren - Copy Editor
Wed, Feb 27th 2019 01:00 pm
Mississippi mourns In a matter of days, two seperate standoffs took place in the state of Mississippi. Responding to a domestic dispute, police were met with a hateful rage as the suspect began shooting. 34-year-old Nam Le was eventually apprehended in his home (above, left) where four other bodies were found. A couple of days later, 31-year-old Pierre Woods began shooting just a half an hour away from the other incident. Woods, who suffered from mental health problems may have been triggered by the anniversary of the death of his mother. Woods was the only victim in the shootout.
Mississippi mourns In a matter of days, two seperate standoffs took place in the state of Mississippi. Responding to a domestic dispute, police were met with a hateful rage as the suspect began shooting. 34-year-old Nam Le was eventually apprehended in his home (above, left) where four other bodies were found. A couple of days later, 31-year-old Pierre Woods began shooting just a half an hour away from the other incident. Woods, who suffered from mental health problems may have been triggered by the anniversary of the death of his mother. Woods was the only victim in the shootout.

 

A 12 hour standoff in the early hours of Saturday, Feb. 16 lead to the deaths of five people. The suspect, 34-year-old Nam Le, was shot before being taken to the hospital where he later died.

The standoff began around 2:30 a.m. when police responded to reports of a domestic dispute. The man fired at police before reentering the home. According to Daily News, TV footage shows two children, Nam’s kids, being released from the home amidst gunfire.

Victims include Nam’s wife, 30-year-old Lan Thi My Van, Nam’s sister in law, 28-year-old Le Thi My Van and fiancé, 28-year-old Phung Minh Le and a family babysitter, 65-year-old Cho Thi Van, according to WLOX.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations (MBI), who took over the case, is still trying to find the motive behind the incident.

A report from the Clinton Ledger detailed the life of one of the victims, Nam Le’s soon to be brother in law, Phung Minh Le. Minh Le was working as a resident doctor in the internal medicine department at a hospital in Louisiana. However, on the weekends Minh Le would go to work at Nail Envy alongside his fiancee, Le Thi My Van. The salon was owned by Nam.

Early in the investigation, officials said there was no reason to believe Nam was responsible for the deaths in the house. MBI is also investigating the events surrounding Nam’s death. Witnesses to the event say they saw an officer shoot Nam, resulting in his death.

A family member of Phung, Vicki Van, said she knew Nam and would have considered him a friend.

“To me he's a very nice guy, he's pretty cool,” Vicki said. “All the customers liked him ....Something must have triggered him to do stuff like that. We don't know. But who would want to kill another person, you know, like multiple shot after shot. That means he's not in his own mind.”

At this time the MBI is not releasing any more information regarding the investigation.

Only a few days after this, another standoff resulting in death occurred in a different Mississippi town only a half an hour away from the first shooting. According to Fox News, in the second standoff a man was shot dead by authorities after exiting his house waving a gun.

The armed man was identified as 31-year-old Pierre Woods. Woods allegedly struggled with mental health issues and may have been triggered by the anniversary of the death of his mother.

Family and officers tried to negotiate with Woods and talk him safely out of the house, but unfortunately it was to no avail. Neighbors were evacuated during the standoff and several local schools were put on a lockdown.

Sheriff Bryan Bailey was among those who tried to talk to Woods.

“My heart goes out to the family of the suspect,” Bailey said. “The last thing we want to do is hurt anybody. I repeatedly myself tried to talk him out, begged him to come out, to get some help.”

The MBI was also called in on this case because of the police involvement.

“Everybody's going to be upset,” Bailey said. “That's why we have the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation coming out to make sure it's done right.”

One question that has been raised is how a man who struggled with mental stability was able to own a handgun. Certainly events like this bring about arguments for and against gun control. One thing we can all agree on is that these things shouldn’t be going on to anyone.

One has to ask what is happening in the world for there to be two similar cases of an armed man engaged in a standoff with police officers for an extended period of time.

It’s unfortunate that both cases ended in at least one death. Hopefully clear motives will be able to be discovered by MBI during it's their ongoing investigation.

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