Poplarville PD essential in suspect’s capture

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 13, 2014

Frank Aubrey Knight

Frank Aubrey Knight

The suspect charged in the homicide of 42-year-old Shannon Paul Lee was captured due to the proactive patrol practices of the Poplarville Police Department.

Poplarville Police Chief Charlie Fazende said the suspect is 43-year-old Frank Aubrey Knight. Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said according to jail records, Knight’s bond has been set at $3 million for the charge of murder.

Pearl River County Deputy Coroner Albert Lee said an autopsy determined Shannon Lee’s cause of death to be due to abdominal stab wounds. The autopsy established that Shannon Lee sustained four stab wounds, one entered the upper part of a lung, Albert Lee said.

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Fazende said it appeared that Shannon Lee and Knight were riding motorcycles together prior to the incident, but it is unknown what led to the homicide.

“I’d sure like to know exactly what occurred out there,” Fazende said.

At about 10 p.m. officers received a call of an incident at the I-59 off ramp at exit 29, Fazende said. As the lead officer approached the area, he saw a motorcycle leaving the area of the off ramp heading in the opposite direction, leading him to request a back up officer on the way to the scene to conduct an investigative stop on the motorcycle.

“We didn’t want anyone getting away from us,” Fazende said.

Fazende said the officer located the motorcycle, conducted a stop and identified him as Knight.

“Had he continued on I-59 I’m sure he might have gotten away,” Fazende said.

The lead officer arrived on the scene of the off ramp at exit 29, finding Shannon Lee unresponsive, Fazende said.

That information was shared with the officer conducting the stop and during a search of Knight a knife was found in his possession.

“If it wasn’t for my guys and their awareness of the situation this guy could have gotten away,” Fazende said.

In a previous story in the Item, Fazende said the crime scene involved a lot of blood.

Fazende said Shannon Lee’s records showed multiple addresses, which include one in Picayune and another in Pearl River La.

Knight is from Lena La., Fazende said.

To his recollection, Fazende said this is the third homicide to occur in Poplarville during his 17 years with the police department.

Shana Phillips, Shannon Lee’s sister, described her brother as a well-known all around good, loveable guy who would always open his home to anyone.

“He was a biker who loved the wind blowing in his face,” Phillips said.

Phillips said even though he was known to be a member of a well-known motorcycle organization, he should be remembered as a hard working, loving and caring man. Phillips said she and her family appreciate the support his organization has shown them during this time.

The previous Item story stated that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, who is leading the case, had an individual in custody who had been admitted to the hospital. Calls to Mississippi Department of Public Safety Director of Public Affairs Warren Strain for updates on the case were not returned by press time.