Deputies assist with manhunt
A man who authorities say fired shots at a deputy Friday is in custody facing charges pending an investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Piotr James Gullett, 27, 946 Mt. Olive Road, Starkville, was arrested Friday following a manhunt after he fled on foot after firing shots at a Neshoba County Sheriff’s deputy, Sheriff Eric Clark said.
Clark said that his department filed a burglary charge against Gullet, Tuesday and said they are awaiting his release from the hospital. More charges are pending against Gullet in two investigations.
First is the MBI investigation into the officer-involved shooting. Clark said that Gullett likely faces at least an aggravated assault charge though others are possible and that those will be determined by MBI. He said he expects MBI to have charges ready within the next few days.
The second is the investigation into a burglary reported Friday afternoon that led to contact with Gullett and the chase. Clark said that his department’s investigation included the home invasion and all charges leading up to the officer-involved shooting. Clark said that they believe items, including a gun, were taken during the alleged break-in.
Clark said the District Attorney’s Office is also involved in both investigations.
Clark said the incident started on the afternoon of Friday, May 21 when deputies were responding to a reported house burglary in the North Bend community on Road 2826 when an officer spotted a silver Toyota Tacoma that had been described by the caller. Clark said they had reason to suspect Gullet was armed.
The deputy attempted a traffic stop and a high-speed chase ensued.
“The described vehicle was reported at a home and that is what led us to him,” Clark said. “When deputies saw the vehicle and saw it pulling out of a driveway acting erratically, they attempted to make the stop.”
The chase ended in the Spring Creek community at the intersection of Road 567 and Road 624 where the driver lost control and stalled in a ditch on Road 567.
“The driver exited the pickup and opened fire on the Sheriff’s deputy,” Clark said. “After an exchange of gunfire, the felon escaped into the wooded area near the intersection.”
The Kemper County Sheriff’s Office was quick to respond with their K-9 Unit, Clark said.
“We had a lot of support from local law enforcement,” Clark said. “When we called they came very quickly to respond. They were a great help.”
In addition to the KCSO, the Philadelphia Police Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Neshoba County Emergency Management, and more Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene. They then notified residents in the area and quickly formed a perimeter for containment, according to Clark.
“The K-9 was on track quickly and made short work of finding the felon,” Clark said.
The investigation revealed the silver Toyota Tacoma was reported stolen from Oktibbeha County.
Gullet was also responsible for the theft of a green Chevrolet pickup in Leflore County earlier on Friday. Clark said that truck had been recovered at an apartment complex in Oktibbeha County.
Clark said they believe the gun Gullet used was likely stolen and was acquired when he stole one of the two pickups.
Gullet was transported by Neshoba EMS for treatment. Clark said he does not know his condition but said he was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson where he remained under MBI guard Tuesday morning.
Oktibbeha County deputies arrested Gullett on charges of burglary of a dwelling and stalking early last month.
Gullett was apprehended there in the Adaton community after being spotted by an off-duty deputy. OCSD says Gullet is originally from North Carolina and may have spent time in Georgia.