Missing Learned man Stoney Qualls was shot to death; person of interest dies in officer-involved shooting

According to the coroner, an autopsy determined that Qualls died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Missing Learned man’s body found in Copiah County

HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Details continue to emerge in the disappearance and murder of a Hinds County man.

The body of missing Learned man Stoney Qualls was found Friday morning in rural Copiah County, and an officer-involved shooting in Rankin County is connected to the case.

The body of missing Raymond man Stoney Dale Qualls was found in an abandoned building Friday morning; Source: MBI
The body of missing Raymond man Stoney Dale Qualls was found in an abandoned building Friday morning; Source: MBI

According to investigators, a man he was trying to help likely took his life.

Hinds County investigators say Qualls' body was found not far from where his burned truck was discovered in a wooded area Thursday. According to Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart, an autopsy determined that he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Joseph Zattoni, of Terry, has been arrested and charged with capital murder in his death. Zattoni is being held at the Raymond Detention Center.

MUGSHOT: Joseph Zattoni; Source: Hinds Co. SO Major Pete Luke
MUGSHOT: Joseph Zattoni; Source: Hinds Co. SO Major Pete Luke

How Zattoni and Qualls met up is unclear.

It has been confirmed that Qualls gave a man, described as Zattoni’s friend Corey Harris, a ride to Byram sometime Wednesday. Harris' car apparently got stuck not far from Qualls' home.

“We believe that Corey Harris was driving this car that ran off the road near his house, so either he had gone to his house to ask for assistance, but as I said, he gave him a ride to Byram," said Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason.

A Rankin County deputy was involved in an officer-involved shooting Thursday evening. Law enforcement sources say that the shooting is connected to this case.

30-year-old Corey Harris, who was named a person of interest in the Qualls' disappearance, was shot Thursday night. He was transported to a local hospital. It is unknown if Harris was still a person of interest at the time of his death.

“I know he’s on parole for grand larceny shoplifting and felony fleeing with the Mississippi Department of Corrections," said Sheriff Mason. “He does have a criminal history.”

According to Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart, Harris was pronounced dead at the University of Mississippi Medical Center at 3:30 p.m.

Zattoni also made news back in 2017 when he was arrested after leading Richland police on a high speed chase in a stolen truck. He served one year in prison for that stint.

Earlier this year, he was arrested by Byram police for shoplifting, then transferred to Hinds County where he had warrants.

Byram police say he has a long history of arrests involving drugs and theft. He is currently being held at the Raymond Detention Center.

READ MORE: Terry man charged after high-speed chase in stolen vehicle

47-year-old Stoney Dale Qualls went missing Wednesday morning after he left his Front Street home to help a stranded motorist who had run off the road near his home.

Qualls called his family around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday saying that he was on his way home from Byram, but he never made it back.

The Qualls family declined to comment on the case, other than to thank law enforcement for their hard work in solving his disappearance.

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