JASPER COUNTY, MS (WDAM) –
The search continues for a man suspected of killing his mother and friend, according to Tennessee authorities.
On Sunday morning, officers with the East Ridge Police Department responded to reports of a double homicide and suicidal suspect. Department spokesman, Assistant Chief Stan Allen, said Lawhorn called into dispatch to alert them of the situation. Upon arrival, officers forced entry into a residence where they found two people suffering from gunshot wounds to the head.
In his Facebook status, Lawhorn confessed to killing his mother and friend with a .22 caliber gun. The East Ridge Police Department has identified his mother as Vi Lawhorn and the friend as 22-year-old Avery Gaines of Ringold, Georgia. Due to the grisly details, WDAM-TV has opted not to share the post within this story. The post, which was shared over 1, 000 times and received hundreds of comments, has since been taken down.
Lawton, who was reportedly driving a gold 2002 Ford Taurus with a Tennessee tag—W0327L— was believed to be somewhere in Dade County, Georgia.
However, around 5:00 p.m., Lawhorn posted that his car broke down on I-59 south in Mississippi.
“Our department with the Mississippi Highway Patrol responded to the scene,” Jasper County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff Randy Johnson said adding MHP was surveying the area with helicopters. “Jones County came up with armored vehicles and their SWAT Team. Jasper County Civil Defense came out.”
At I-59 at Vossburg Exit, mile marker 118, Lawhorn’s vehicle was spotted.
‘It took awhile to secure the vehicle to make sure it was unoccupied and it was,” said Johnson.
Traffic was backed up for miles as authorities shut down the area of I-59 between MS 528/Heidelberg/Bay Spring Exit 113 and Vossburg/Paulding/CR 35 Exit 118 before 5:00 p.m. The scene wasn’t cleared of police activity until after 11:00 p.m.
MDOT – Police activity on I-59 between MS 528 / Heidelberg / Bay Spring EX 113 and Vossburg / Paulding / CR 35 EX 118 in Jasper County has ALL LANES BLOCKED in both directions. Map it >> http://ow.ly/mKNQ30jnO2c
At this time, Johnson says Lawhorn could be anywhere. But, he advises people not to take matters into their own hands.
“Just please don’t approach him,” Johnson said. “If you see somebody that looks out of place or you hear thing (or) you see things, please call the authorities. Call any law enforcement agency you can get. Call the sheriff’s department, the city— wherever you may be and just give us any information you can on it.”
The Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will be the lead agencies on this ongoing investigation.