Clarksdale officer showing signs of improvement

Clarksdale officer showing signs of improvement
Leandrew Booker (Source: Clarksdale Police Department)
Leandrew Booker (Source: Clarksdale Police Department)

CLARKSDALE, MS (WMC) - Ten minutes after releasing the name of a person of interest connected to a Clarksdale officer being shot, U.S. Marshals arrested the man.

Corporal Derrick Couch was shot in the head February 13 after responding to a robbery at a convenience store.

Johnny Robinson Jr.'s father turned his son in to police after the shooting. Clarksdale Police Department charged Robinson Jr. with attempted murder and aggravated robbery. His bond is set at $700,000.

Tuesday, CPD held a press conference to release the latest details in the case.

CPD Chief William Read identified Leandrew "Lil Teddy" Booker, 20, as a person of interest in the investigation. CPD said Booker helped Robinson Jr. rob Corner Grocery, but did not have anything to do with the shooting of Corporal Couch.

Ten minutes after the press conference, Booker was in custody.

During the news conference to announce Booker's identity, officers received a tip on Booker's location. U.S. Marshals followed up on the tip and arrested Booker in the 100 block of Adams Street in Clarksdale.

"The media can be your friend or your foe, and obviously this time you helped," Read said.

Booker also had an outstanding warrant with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Neither man's court date has been set.

Booker's family said they were sorry about what happened and extended their sympathies to Couch's family.

CPD Assistant Chief Robbie Linley said Corporal Couch is improving at the hospital.

Couch was shot in the left eye. Doctors performed two surgeries to remove his eye. During the first surgery, Couch had a small stroke.

The good news is Couch is now out of surgery and he is responding to commands.

"He still has a long way to go, so we want to keep him in your prayers," Linley said.

Couch's father Alonzo Hardiman said his son can now open his eye and attempted to give a thumbs up from his hospital bed.

"We are praying and being supportive," Hardiman said. "Doing everything we can do."

Hardiman said he hopes the shooting proves a point that all lives matter.

"Police lives matter because they are serving and protecting us," Hardiman said.

Despite the horrific nature of the crime, Hardiman said he refuses to judge the men responsible.

"I am not a judge," he said. "I don't want to judge them because it will mean that I will be judged."

The police department also set up a benefit fund in Couch's honor. Those who wish to make a donation can do so at Regions Bank or the Clarksdale mayor's office.

"All of our thoughts and prayers are with Corporal Couch and his family," Linley said.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5 and AP. All rights reserved.