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Shooting suspect caught, second sought

August 31, 2010

One suspect has been arrested and police are still seeking another in the reported shooting incident at a north Starkville apartment complex more than two weeks ago.
Sam West Lee, 26, of 511 Whitfield St., Apt. 4, has been charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling in connection with the reported shooting incident that occurred at 23B Brookville Gardens shortly after 9:50 p.m. Aug. 15. Lee is free on a $50,000 bond after being arrested by Starkville Police Department officers early Tuesday afternoon.
A second suspect, Shawn Pittman, is still being sought by police on a burglary charge in the Aug. 15 incident, said SPD Sgt. Chadd Garnett late Tuesday afternoon.
Pittman is a black male believed to be in his early to mid-20s with a medium build who is believed to drive an older model, box-style white Lincoln Town Car, Garnett said. He may be armed, Garnet said.
“If you see him, approach him with caution. We believe he could have a gun given the fact that one as used in the incident in which we’re seeking him,” Garnett said.
In the incident, at least five shots from a 9-millimeter handgun were fired into the first floor apartment at Brookville Gardens Building 23, where four people were believed to have been in the apartment at the time.
Fired through the front door, the bullets struck multiple walls and furniture in the living room, and multiple bullets and shell casings were recovered from the apartment, said Garnett two weeks ago.
Lee and Pittman were identified as the suspects in the case based upon evidence recovered at the scene of the shooting and witness statements, Garnett said.
The two are being charged with burglary because they kicked in the door of the apartment and entered with the intent of assaulting a young man inside, Garnett said. The young man’s name is not being released amid safety concerns, Garnett said.
Charges of shooting into an occupied dwelling may be filed against the two pending results of Mississippi Crime Lab tests on evidence recovered in the investigation, and other charges are also possible, Garnett said.
Garnett would not comment on the nature of the evidence being tested, including whether the handgun used in the shooting incident and bullets recovered from the apartment are among the items being tested.
As the investigation continues, anyone with information about Pittman’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Garnett at the Police Department at 323-4131 or call Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.
All Crime Stoppers tips are confidential and could result in a reward of up to $1,000 for the caller if the tip leads to an arrest in this case or any felony crime.

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