Man in standoff with SO charged

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A prominent family physician who is accused of firing shots at Sheriff’s deputies was shot and wounded in a standoff Saturday stemming from a domestic disturbance call, the authorities said.

The physician, Dr. Jeffery Todd Willis, faces multiple charges ranging from domestic violence to aggravated assault on a police officer, according to Neshoba County Sheriff Eric Clark.

Willis, 59, of 13850 Road 602, was charged Tuesday with the following:

• Domestic violence-aggravated assault.

• Two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and 

shots fired at officers on initial call.

• Four counts of aggravated assault on a police officer while effecting an arrest.

• Two counts of simple assault on a police officer while effecting an arrest.

“While on scene a standoff ensued between law enforcement and the armed assailant,” Clark initially said in a Facebook post Saturday night. 

Leake County deputies were called in to assist in the standoff that apparently lasted for some time before the shots were fired and Willis was taken to a Meridian hospital where he survived after surgery for bullet wounds to the chest.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was notified immediately and took charge Saturday, Clark said.

Road  602, commonly known as the River Road, runs parallel to the Pearl River in northwest Neshoba County connecting Highway 19 north and Highway 427 just above Edinburg. 

Willis is a well-known and liked family physician at Neshoba General with no apparent criminal record. Willis is known to be a gun enthusiast and had photos of weapons on his personal Facebook page.

Willis first came to Philadelphia in 1994 as a general practitioner. He is listed as practicing family medicine at the Surgery Clinic of Philadelphia on Holland Avenue, which is part of the county-owned Neshoba General hospital, according to their website.

“All Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office personnel are safe,” Clark wrote Saturday night after the standoff.

“Thank you Leake County Sheriff’s Office for the support. Please pray for all involved.”

Maj. Johnny Poulos of the MBI told the Democrat Tuesday afternoon the investigation is still ongoing.


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