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Chase slows down, stops, then a shot is fired

Shots may have been fired at Pearl County deputies following a high-speed chase from Purvis into Pearl River County where it turned into a “low-speed” chase.

At about 10 p.m. Saturday, Jose Chavera, 27, of 25 Sunset Dr., Purvis, was reported being chased at high speeds by the Purvis Police Department.

Apparently Chavera had been involved in a fight in the Purvis area, said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Frank Vaccarela. When the Purvis Police Department was called out, Chavera got into a silver Chevrolet Monte Carlo and fled the scene.

Chavera lead Purvis Police officers on a chase onto Interstate 59 heading south bound into Pearl River County. While on the Interstate, Chavera allegedly sideswiped a Purvis patrol car, Vaccarela said. Purvis Police notified Pearl River County that the suspect was entering the county at high speeds and that they were breaking off their pursuit.

Pearl River County deputies located the vehicle by its description and resumed the chase. While Pearl River County Deputies pursued Chavera, he did not achieve speeds faster than 40 miles per hour, Vaccarela said.

A short time later the car began to slow and pull over to the pull to the shoulder between the 11- and 12-mile marker. Vaccarela said Chavera got out of the car carrying a .22-caliber rifle. Deputies ordered him to put down the weapon. Instead, Chavera ran into the woods with the gun. Deputies ordered him to stop, but Chavera proceeded on into the woods.

While deputies were forming a strategy to get Chavera out of the woods, a gun shot was heard. The shot was believed to have been aimed at the officers since they believed the bullet struck near the officers’ location. The deputies took cover and called in K-9 units and a helicopter, Vaccarela said.

Deputies announced to Chavera over a patrol unit public address system that dogs and a helicopter were on the way. Fifteen minutes later Chavera surrendered to the deputies.

Chavera was charged with two counts of attempted aggravated assault on an officer, three counts of aggravated assault on an officer, careless driving and driving with a suspended driver’s license.

Chavera is being held at the Pearl River County jail until Purvis files for his extradition.

Chavera was the only person in his vehicle and no injuries were reported in the incident, Vaccarela said.