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19-Year-Old Charged in Point-Blank Shooting of Mississippi Cop

A man was charged Monday with the attempted murder of a police officer after a weekend robbery at a Mississippi grocery store, authorities said.

Derrick Couch
Clarksdale Officer Derrick Couch. Clarksdale Police Department

The officer, five-year Clarksdale Police Department veteran Derrick Couch, remained in critical condition at a trauma center in Tennessee after being shot point blank in the face, Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett told NBC News Monday.

Johnny Robinson Jr., 19, faces one count of the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and two counts of armed robbery, assistant police chief Robbie Linley said in a statement.

Police were still working to identify a second suspect believed to have participated in a robbery Saturday night that preceded the shooting.

Image: Johnny Robinson, Jr.  accused
Johnny Robinson, Jr. is facing attempted murder charges for the shooting of Clarksdale officer Corporal Derrick Couch. Clarksdale Police Department

A man taken into custody Sunday was later released, NBC affiliate WLBT reported.

Couch was shot in the eye after responding to an all-points bulletin about a robbery at the Corner Grocery, Luckett said. On Monday the officer remained sedated after doctors were unable to remove bullet fragments from his eye socket.

Couch is a father of five and a minister in Tunica, Mississippi, NBC affiliate WMC reported.

"He's doing as good as can be expected," Couch's father, Alozo Hardiman, told the station. "It's touch and go. We are praying for him and God knows best."

Robinson was arrested Sunday after his father brought him to Clarksdale city hall, Luckett said. It was unclear Monday if he had a lawyer.