Police are trained to make split second decisions.
Cpl. L.J. Peters made the right decision Sunday morning and a 2-year-old is probably alive because his quick action.
A call came into the Clarksdale Police Department about 10 a.m. Sunday that a 2-year-old boy had been shot in the torso at 520 McKinley Street.
Peters was not the officer called to the scene, but his police antenna perked up and he decided to respond anyway. When he arrived on the scene he immediately took the child to Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in his police truck.
The 2-year-old’s life was only saved because Peters acted immediately. Had Peters not taken the child to the hospital, it would have been too late.
“We had just finished celebrating one of our captains (28-year CPD officer Randy Tomlinson) who retired,” said Peters, adding officers were sitting around talking when the call about the shooting came in.
The child’s mother, Latreasure Williams, called the CPD about the shooting. She alleged she got into an argument with DeAngelo Price, Price pulled a weapon and fired a shot striking the child, according to the police report.
Price is the suspect, has not been captured and there is a warrant for his arrest.
Peters said the connection between Williams and Price has not been determined at this time.
But catching bad guys is only one part of police work. The first job is saving lives.
“It wasn’t my call, but I decided to go in the area because they needed extra help,” Peters said. “As I’m approaching the street, that’s when one of the dispatchers said the child had been shot. At that point, I was about 30 seconds away from the house.”
Peters said he was looking for the child, who was standing and running around the house after being shot. He caught up with the child at the door.
“When I saw him, I saw where the wound was,” Peters said.
Peters scooped the child up and took him to the hospital almost immediately.
“The 911 dispatch hadn’t gotten there, so I decided to scoop him up and take him to the hospital,” Peters said.
Peters then took the 2-year-old to the hospital with Cpl. Alvin Coley clearing the way ahead of him and making sure traffic did not block him. The child and grandmother rode in the back of the F-150 police truck.
Peters recalled the child was unconscious shortly after getting to Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center.
“At that point, there was nothing else I could do, so I decided to go out and locate suspects,” Peters said.
Peters said Coley, his supervisor Sgt. Ulyea Johnson, Cpl. Stacy Lester and the rest of the shift all played a role in saving the 2-year-old’s life.
“I just wanted to give a shout out to my shift,” Peters said. “Even though I transported the child, everybody played a part.”
Clarksdale Police Chief Sandra Williams praised Peters for his efforts in saving the 2-year-old.
“I think that he thought really quick and I do believe his actions were very critical to save this child’s life,” Williams said. “He is definitely an asset to the Clarksdale Police Department.”
Peters has been a law enforcement officer for 10 years for different federal and city agencies. He is a 2004 Port Gibson High School graduate, a graduate Mississippi Law Enforcement Academy in Pearl in 2007 and a 2008 Jackson State University graduate with a degree in criminal justice.
Peters joined the Clarksdale Police Department Feb. 3 after moving back to Mississippi from Washington D.C. He has been on the job a little more than two months.
“We just got homesick and we were ready to come back home (to Mississippi),” Peters said.
Peters said he is prepared for an emergency on any given day and did not want any special recognition for saving the child.
“What I did for that child was something a police officer is ready to do every morning when he puts his uniform on,” Peters said.
Anyone with any information leading to the arrest of Price may contact the Clarksdale Police Department at 662-621-8151, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or simply dial 911. All calls remain anonymous and cash is paid to those providing information that leads to solving this crime.