PANOLA CO, MS (WMC) - The murder suspect shot and killed by police after a high speed chase in Panola County has been identified.
Panola County coroner said Eric Higgs, 46, is the man accused of leading police on a chase, crashing into a semi truck, and engaging in a half-hour standoff.
District Attorney John Champion said Higgs was wanted for murdering his wife, Barbara Higgs, 48, on Oct. 24 in Martin, Tennessee, and a Be On The Lookout (BOLO) was issued for Higgs' vehicle.
Hernando police officers tried to initiate a traffic stop because they recognized the vehicle from the BOLO, but Higgs sped off. Officers followed after him, reaching speeds of up to 125 mph. At one point, Higgs crossed over the median and continued going southbound on I-55 in the northbound lanes.
Higgs' vehicle crashed with an 18-wheeler while going the wrong way on the interstate, Champion said. Police tried to get Higgs to show his hands after the accident, but he refused.
"At some point, there were some movements within the vehicle by the subject that led the officers to fire," Champion said.
"They approach the car. When they did, something happened, I don't know if he pointed a gun at them, or what, but they unloaded on him," Larry Williams, who witnesses the incident, said. "I'm just glad they got him before he hurt somebody else."
An officer was injured during the shootout; he is expected to be OK. Champion said that the officer may have been grazed by a bullet or shrapnel, but the incident is under investigation.
"I want to praise these officers because this was an absolutely incredibly dangerous scenario that there were facing," Champion said.