Georgia man identified as victim in Gulfport officer-involved shooting

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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer identified the victim in Saturday morning’s Gulfport shooting.

Leonard Parker Jr. of Covington, Georgia, was pronounced dead in his vehicle at the scene. The 53-year-old was the sole shooting victim. His body will be sent to Jackson for an autopsy to be done Monday, Switzer said.

Police responded to a shooting in the 200 block of 25th Street early Saturday. Gulfport Police confirmed one of their officers was involved in the shooting.

Investigators aren’t releasing many details at this time, but WLOX News has learned that several officers were involved, at least one Gulfport officer fired a weapon, and no officers were injured.

Gulfport police said they’re working with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, the Biloxi Police Department’s Crime Scene Team, and the District Attorney’s Office to secure the scene and ensure a thorough investigation into the events that led to the shooting.

Gulfport residents like Jeff Williams were startled to see a shooting take place that close to home. He said that his wife woke him up to notify him about the commotion and cop lights flashing outside.

“I’m real shocked because this is a super quiet neighborhood,” Williams said. “Nothing goes on in this neighborhood.”

Another Gulfport resident, Anthony Garon, said he heard “pops” but did not know they were gunshots until about 4 a.m. Then the next thing he knew, cops were flooding his neighborhood.

“I first saw people turning around down my street and then this street was blocked off so I knew something bad was… and then I saw the crime scene tape out in front of my house,” Garon said.

We’ll continue to update this story as new information becomes available.

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