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Man charged with shooting at Clinton officer during chase has criminal past, 3OYS investigation reveals

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:09 PM CDT
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CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - The man charged with evading officers and firing more than a dozen rounds at one of them Wednesday had already served time in the state’s prison system years earlier from at least one felony conviction, according to a 3 On Your Side analysis of public records.

Clinton Police Chief Ford Hayman said Jerry Shannon McAlister, 45, now faces charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a felon and fleeing a traffic stop.

“Very bad situation that concerns me mightily, that this guy is willing to shoot at a police officer because he doesn’t want to go to jail,” Hayman said. “It’s our understanding he’s got some outstanding charges from other jurisdictions.”

Hayman could not say with certainty what those charges were or where they were from.

McAlister’s recent charges stem from an attempted traffic stop Clinton police officers made at approximately 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to a press release from the city.

Hayman said an officer had noticed that McAlister’s tag had been switched, and decided to investigate further.

McAlister instead led officers on a chase that ended in south Jackson, at one point firing more than a dozen rounds at the officer directly behind him.

Hayman said the officer returned fire; neither person was injured from the shootout.

Following the barrage of bullets, Hayman said McAlister got out of the vehicle and tried to run away, but was captured quickly by other officers.

“He’s off the street and his weapons are off the street,” Hayman said. “He’s not gonna get a chance to hurt anybody else.”

State records reveal McAlister had been convicted and sentenced from two other felonious acts that took place over the last two decades.

Court documents show a statutory rape conviction and sentence in 2008; he has since been registered as a sex offender in Mississippi.

Four years before that, McAlister was convicted on a felony grand larceny charge. Both crimes took place in Rankin County.

Records indicate McAlister served time in the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville, though it’s unclear how long he was behind bars.

Hayman said after Wednesday’s incident, they’re going to do everything they can to make sure McAlister stays in the system.

“We’ll be reaching out to some other agencies or resources for some and hopefully we can get some federal help here so we can charge him federally,” Hayman said. “This guy needs to go to prison.”

While the chase ended in Jackson — in a residential area — Hayman said there were no reports of injuries or property damage and praised JPD officers and county deputies who arrived to help.

“I’ll commend the Jackson Police Department. They were notified down there in the Woody [Drive] area, they came and assisted and even the sheriff’s deputies came,” Hayman said. “Wouldn’t you like to see more of, of everybody working together to drive crime out of the metro area? We’re not gonna stand for it in Clinton. I wish some efforts would would ramp up. Let’s drive it out of the metro area in its entirety.”

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