An off-duty state trooper working part-time for the U.S. Postal Service was shot dead inside his mail truck in Mississippi.
Authorities discovered Mississippi Highway Patrolman Lt. Troy ‘Rudy’ Morris, of Natchez, dead inside his USPS truck on Friday around 4:30am.
Morris, 58, was a 27-year veteran of the Mississippi Highway Patrol and worked for USPS part-time for 16 years.
‘He was a good man, a friend and a valuable member of this agency,’ wrote Colonel Randy Ginn, Director of MHP, in a press release.
‘He will be truly missed by the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.’
Mississippi Highway Patrolman Lt. Troy Morris (pictured) was shot dead on Friday morning while working his second job with the United States Postal Service
The disturbing incident happened while Morris was working an early shift with USPS near Jefferson County
The Clarion Ledger report that Morris called MHP and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office after his mail truck got a flat tire on U.S. Route 61.
But while waiting for USPS to send another mail truck, Morris was gunned down at the scene and was later discovered by authorities who dispatched to meet him.
Authorities said it appeared nothing had been stolen from the mail truck.
Adams County Coroner James Lee told The Natchez Democrat said news of Morris’ death has shocked his colleagues.
‘Troopers from around this state were vehemently searching for clues and leads to direct them to a possible suspect. The State Crime Lab sent a team of forensic experts to work the crime scene,’ said Lee.
Troy Morris (pictured) was with the Mississippi Highway Patrol for 27 years and worked part-time for USPS for 16 years
‘This is a sad day, not only for law enforcement but family and friends of Lt. Morris. My deepest sympathy and prayers.’
Lee added that Morris’ body was transferred to the Mississippi Crime Lab to undergo an autopsy.
‘I can’t believe someone would gun down a police officer like that,’ he said.
‘This is a sad day for law enforcement, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the State of Mississippi. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lieutenant Troy Morris,’ write Commissioner Sean Tindell in the press release.
‘Local, state, and federal agents will work tirelessly to ensure justice.’
Pictured: a number of Mississippi law enforcement stand at the crime scene on Friday after Morris’ body was discovered
Commissioner Sean Tindell: ‘This is a sad day for law enforcement, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the State of Mississippi’. Pictured: police vehicles at the crime scene
As of Saturday, Damion Whittley, 25, Treyon Washington, 24, and 17-year-old Cdarrius Norman have all been charged with murder in connection to Morris’ death.
Washington reportedly turned himself into the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and is being held without bond in Jefferson County Jail.
Authorities tracked down Whittley and Norman to New Orleans, where they were captured and awaiting extradition to Mississippi.
USPS and Mississippi Crime Stopper previously said offered a $108,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Since Morris’ death, Congressman Steven Palazzo and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves have shared their condolences on Facebook.
‘My prayers are with the loved ones of Lt. Troy Morris who was senselessly shot and killed this morning in Jefferson County. I hope the individual responsible for such an unforgivable act is swiftly brought to justice,’ wrote Palazzo.
‘At 4:30 AM this morning, a member of the Mississippi Highway Patrol was killed in his vehicle. It is a somber reminder to pray for all of our law enforcement heroes—and especially the family of Lieutenant Troy Morris. God bless him, and all of our law enforcement officers,’ Gov. Reeves wrote.
Mississippi Congressman Steven Palazzo shared his condolences on Facebook
Gov. Reeves: ‘It is a somber reminder to pray for all of our law enforcement heroes—and especially the family of Lieutenant Troy Morris. God bless him, and all of our law enforcement officers’
A community group called ‘Livesavers’ shared a tribute to Morris on Friday
Operation Lifesavers, a community group that supports local officers and gifts them with packages of Life Savers, also posted a tribute to Morris.
‘Rest In Peace, Lt. Troy “Rudy” Morris. Thank you for living a life of service, and for protecting us for all those years. Godspeed, sir,’ wrote one member.
‘This is a first for Operation Lifesaver. We met Lt. Morris on 4/7/2017.’
The investigation into Morris’ death is ongoing.