Investigators: Man arrested after lying about fight with accused cop killer during search

Investigators: Man arrested after lying about fight with accused cop killer during search

SIMPSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - In Simpson County, accused cop killer Joaquin Blackwell was denied bond.

Blackwell is accused of fatally shooting 77-year-old Simpson County deputy James Blair on Friday after an involuntary mental evaluation at Region 8 in Mendenhall. Blackwell is being held in the Rankin County Detention Center.

On that Friday after Deputy James Blair was shot and killed, hundreds of law enforcement officers had saturated the county. One man almost derailed the investigation.

The point of interest in the hunt for Simpson County Deputy James Blair’s killer: Highway 13 around Region 8, where the shooting happened.

But then police got a call that someone had encountered the suspect in D’Lo, and there had been gunfire. Resources moved to the D’Lo area in force, shutting down roads and telling people not to go home. If they were home, they were told not to leave their houses.

Even on Friday, details about the mysterious “shots fired” call were scarce.

“We haven’t verified that yet. We have interviewed that guy and I haven’t got the findings on that yet,” said Sheriff Paul Mullins on Friday night.

The man who made the report is a man who is authorities say is known to law enforcement. His name is Shawn Tullos.

The findings ended up shocking.

“The entire manhunt was shifted toward the D’Lo area, and that report turned out to be false. He has been charged this morning with making a false report to law enforcement,” said District Attorney Matt Sullivan.

But why make up a story about a fight that ended in shots fired?

“It would be speculation on why he would do something like that, attention, glory-seeking, I don’t know. He put a lot of people in unnecessary danger and caused what should have ended fairly quickly to be prolonged unnecessarily,” Sullivan said.

Tullos is being held in the Simpson County Jail, Sullivan said, and could end up facing additional charges.

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