One person dead after suspect leads Southaven police on pursuit - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

One person dead after suspect leads Southaven police on pursuit

Timothy James West (Source: Southaven Police) Timothy James West (Source: Southaven Police)

By Nick Kenney and Jamel Major

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - One person is dead after a police pursuit led to an automobile crash in Southaven late Thursday night.

Southaven police said the incident started when officers were called to a house on Poplar Cove in DeSoto Woods after a man threatened to kill two people with a weapon. Before officers could arrive, the man, later identified as 29-year-old Timothy James West, left the house.

Moments later, officers noticed a person matching West's description driving on Highway 51. When they attempted to pull him over, West sped away, and a pursuit ensued.

Eventually, police put spike strips on the road in an attempt to stop West.

"We were able to use some spike strips (and) flatten a couple of tires," Southaven Police Department Lt. Mark Little said. "But he continued to move forward."

The chase led to the intersection of Highway 51 and Stateline Road, where West crashed into a another vehicle. Police said Dorothy Weaver Gwin, 61, died in the crash. Gwin was not involved in the chase.

Other people in Gwin's vehicle were transported to area hospitals. Police have not released the total number of people injured, or their conditions.

Officers have still not said what started the disturbance that led to the chase.

West was charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence, two counts of assault by physical fear, one count of trespassing, and 10 traffic violations.

Meanwhile, friends of Gwin, a local hair stylist, were stunned by her death.

"I'm very hurt and more shocked than anything," said Gwin's friend Pamela Magee.  I'm really, really shocked.  I don't think it's hit me yet."

Friends laid a wreath outside the salon where Gwin worked to honor her Friday.

"She was so close, so dear to us all," Magee said. "She is a person I can definitely say that had an impact and touched our lives."

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