MISSISSIPPI—Simpson County Deputy Sheriff James Blair, 77, was shot and killed when he was transporting a subject from an involuntary psychiatric evaluation at a mental health facility on Friday, June 12. The suspect, Steven Joaquin Blackwell, 22, was apprehended the following day.
Blackwell took Blair’s handgun and fatally shot him before escaping from the patrol vehicle. He was captured at 2 p.m. on June 13.
“We concentrated our efforts back on this location. Mississippi Highway Patrol brought their helicopter and was flying low and at some point, I think he realized that the heat was coming on him. They flushed him out of the woods and as you all could see, he came out right on top of some officers and he was taken without incident,” said Simpson County Sheriff Paul Mullins.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and co-workers of Simpson County Deputy James Blair following yesterday’s tragic incident. We are thankful for his service. May God brings you peace,” tweeted Hinds County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Blair served in law enforcement for over 50 years and worked as a school resource officer at Simpson Central School. The candlelight vigil was held for Blair on Sunday, June 14.
“I know how he takes care and loves his grandchildren and all of the children in this community are important to him,” said Antoinette Woodall, the principal of Simpson County School District, during an interview.
A gofundme page has been created to honor the life of Blair.