Police: Clarksdale mayor believed to be target of shooting at city hall

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT
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CLARKSDALE, Miss. (WMC) - Police are investigating a shooting at city hall and they believe Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy may have been the intended target.

Investigators said someone fired a shot at the mayor’s office over the weekend.

An employee in the mayor’s office made the startling discovery Monday morning, according to Clarksdale Police Chief Robbie Linley.

They found a single bullet hole in a window of the mayor’s office on the second floor.

“It appears to be a handgun fired,” said Linley.

Linley said no one was hurt.

The chief said there doesn’t appear to be any witnesses. He said it doesn’t look like any surveillance cameras captured the shooter.

The mayor’s office is located in the same building as the police department in downtown Clarksdale.

Linley said the mayor was the likely target, considering the bullet was fired directly at his office.

“That’s definitely something that piques our interest because it appears they knew which office was his,” said Linley.

There’s another reason he believes the mayor may have been the target.

“Well, we feel that this may be tied to an incident that occurred about a month ago,” said Linley.

He said that incident involved a threatening voicemail the mayor received on his cell phone. Linley said threats were directed at the mayor and three other people.

Linley declined to identify the other people who were threatened.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Joseph Pittman, who they believe was behind the threatening voicemail.

The chief said Pittman has been arrested before but declined to provide more details about Pittman’s background.

“Just with the close proximity of when the voicemail was left and when this occurred, we definitely have looked at that as being possibly connected,” said Linley.

Espy declined to comment on the shooting.

The chief said they asked the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) to investigate the shooting.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call or text the City of Clarksdale information line at 662-645-INFO (4636), Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or Clarksdale police at 662-621-8151.

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