JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — It's not clear who shot and wounded a U.S. Marshals task force agent during the search for a murder suspect in Jackson on Tuesday or if the man charged in the case fired his weapon, a law enforcement official testified Wednesday.
The wounded officer, a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent assigned to the federal agency's task force, was grazed on the stomach by a shot during the search for Lucious Perkins, wanted for capital murder in Jackson.
Perkins wasn't at the house being targeted, but others were, including Arturo Fomperosa Rodriguez, who was charged with assaulting a federal officer. Rodriguez, 38, came to the U.S. from Mexico last month on a temporary visa.
During an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Jackson on Wednesday, Rodriguez, whose eyes were bruised and swollen, said through an interpreter that he didn't assault the officers. His attorney, Abby Brumley, said she'll wait to see what the grand jury does and go from there.
Authorities say Rodriguez pointed a gun at two officers inside the house, and they opened fire.
Under the law, Rodriguez would not have had to fire the gun to be charged with assault, but questions remain about whose shot struck the officer, who was outside the house at the time, according to testimony Wednesday.
The task force was acting on information that Perkins had used that address in the past, according to testimony Wednesday from Michael Huff, a Hinds County deputy and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives task force agent.
Huff said Rodriguez opened the front door of the house as officers were approaching, then he slammed it shut.
Huff said two officers went into a kitchen area where a sheet was hung in the door of an adjoining bedroom. He said the officers saw a silver pistol poking through the sheet, then opened fire. They found Rodriguez hiding under a bed. He was not injured by the shots, but was treated for a head injury, authorities say.
Richard Griffin, supervisory agent for the U.S. Marshals Service in Jackson, said investigators are trying to determine who fired the shot that wounded the officer, who was treated and released.
Perkins, who was wanted for a fatal shooting on Nov. 17, turned himself into police Tuesday evening. A co-defendant in that case and suspect in another fatal shooting, Jordan Johnson, was arrested by Jackson police and the task force Wednesday, Griffin said.