Protective Order didn’t stop violent Holmes County shooting

 

HOLMES CO, Miss. (WJTV) – A young Holmes County boy nearly lost his life after his mother’s ex-boyfriend shot into their home.

We first told you about this story earlier this month, but tonight WJTV’s Margaret-Ann Carter is learning more about how Craig Thomas was able to get his hands on a gun, with a protective order filed against him.

9 year old Jared Taylor was shot 3 times when his mother’s ex boyfriend fired his newly purchased gun into their home in the middle of the night.

Sheriff Willie March says the boy’s mom had a protective order against Thomas, but because of the way the law is laid out Thomas was legally able to purchase a gun.

How much protection does a protective order really offer? For one holmes county family it didn’t offer much at all.

Even though Thomas had a protective order filed against him by his ex girlfriend he was still legally able to purchase a gun, a weapon he used to shoot his ex’s 9 year old son.

“I was just amazed when I called the attorney general’s office to find out that the person that sold this gun wouldn’t be able to pick up this order even though it was in the system they wouldn’t be able to pick it up,” Holmes county sheriff Willie March said.

Even if a victim of domestic violence files a protective order against their abuser it doesn’t prevent them from purchasing a firearm in Mississippi,

“If they haven’t had any conviction or anything there’s nothing that really can be done which is unfortunate therefore like I stated we have a long way to go in order to combat this issue,” Wendy Mahoney the executive director for MS Coalition Against Domestic Violence explained.

Federal law only limits the purchase of firearms if the abuser is your spouse, former spouse, the parent of your child or someone who you’ve lived with. An ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend does not fall into that category.

“Individuals who are in domestic violence situations you need some type of evidence and a paper trail protective orders are one of those mechanisms because it shows that I have tried to do something I am putting forth the effort to be safe,” Mahoney said.

Mahoney believes this situation could have been prevented if Thomas’s name was on the national database when he went to buy that gun.

Sheriff March says this is an issue that needs to be brought to the attention of state leaders, and he plans to do so.

“Obviously domestic violence is all over we’re having this problem and if you’re going to make this law and put it there then it should have some teeth that you can’t buy these weapon to use it against someone you’re upset with,” March explained.

Thomas is charged with aggravated assault and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

We’re told 9 year old Jared is recovering.

 

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