Two Men in Custody After Mississippi Cop Shot in Head

Two men were in custody after a police officer was shot in the head while responding to a robbery in northwestern Mississippi, authorities said Sunday.

The officer, Derrick Couch, a five-year veteran of the Clarksdale Police Department in his mid-30s, remained on a ventilator after doctors removed one of his eyes and unsuccessfully tried extracting a "projectile," Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett told reporters Sunday.

IMAGE: Clarksdale, Mississippi, police Officer Derrick Couch
Clarksdale, Mississippi, police Officer Derrick Couch. Clarksdale Police Department

"We're praying for him," Luckett said.

The suspects, who Luckett did not identify but said were 19 or 20 years old, encountered Couch after taking "money bags and other things" from a grocery store in downtown Clarksdale just before 9 p.m. Saturday.

The officer was one of several responding to an all-points bulletin broadcast after the robbery. When he spotted the men four blocks from the shop, one ran; the other continued walking, "as if to not arouse suspicion," Luckett said.

Couch "took probably three steps toward the guy," Luckett said, citing surveillance video that captured the shooting. "He was shot right in the head."

Accompanied by his father, the shooter turned himself in Sunday afternoon, Luckett said. The second suspect was taken into custody about three hours later, NBC affiliate WLBT reported.