CANTON, Miss – While authorities investigate what could have provoked the gunman Edgar Egbert to carry out this horrific act, people in the area are left wondering why this happened.
Many around Highway 16 and Lotville Rd. described the surrounding area as quiet and a close-knit community. They were caught off guard as dozens of deputies and officers stormed the streets.
While drones and investigators still flew over the Lelias Dr. house where the hostage incident began, witnesses described moments when the suspect fled in his jeep.
“We seen the SWAT team, Madison County deputies, state troopers, too many police to count really,” Demetrius Bell told us. “It was really crazy it’s the first time I’ve seen that many police in one place.”
“Police cars were stacked on top of each other,” Jamuel Brooks said. “Ambulance and a fire truck came through and SWAT trucks came through we have never experienced that before.”
The suspect then led deputies on a high-speed chase coming down Highway 16 heading west towards Canton before he crashed right here at the Avondale Rd. intersection from stop sticks. Following the shootout, authorities completely shut down the road leaving people cut off.
“You couldn’t come up 16 so I had to detour to 43 and come up,” Vaddie Hartzog said.
“I was fixing to go to the little corner store up the road and I saw they were coming at me so I pulled over,” Shelve Brooks stated. “And I kept straight going to Canton and it was all blocked off. It was over with nobody could get in or out of Canton.”
People were flooded with calls from friends and family making sure everyone was ok.
“I had to call my sister and make sure everyone was alright and she said everyone was ok and they locked the doors,” Dominic James said.
“My mom was already here and I told her about it to make sure she was alright,” Bell said. “And my little brother and sister were getting ready for school so I checked on them to make sure they were alright.”
In the end most of Lotville Rd. described Sep. 5. as a day they’ll never forget.
Everyone we spoke to also sent their thoughts and prayers to the deputies and their families and hope those hurt make a full recovery.