Man claims self-defense in discharging gun in city limits

Published 7:50 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Vicksburg man accused of discharging his handgun inside the city limits said he was acting in self-defense when he fired his weapon into the ground at his home.

Louis Fumbanks was arrested by police Aug. 18. His attorney David Sessums said Fumbanks is expected to appear in Municipal Court Thursday, adding he intends to request a trial on the charge. If convicted, Fumbanks would receive a mandatory fine and sentence of $500 and 30 days in jail.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Fumbanks was charged under an amended city ordinance passed in March by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen setting a mandatory $500 fine and 30 days in jail for people arrested for discharging a firearm inside the city limits.

One of the exceptions under the law is firing a weapon in self-defense.

The events leading to his arrest began about 8:40 p.m. Aug. 18, Fumbanks said.

“My wife and I were sitting at home when my wife got a call from our neighbor, saying their house was being broken into,” he said. “I proceeded to the bedroom and got my pistol and I went to check on them.”

Fumbanks said the neighbors gave him a description of the would-be burglar as a tall, bald-headed man wearing a white shirt and dark pants.

He got his gun and walked to the front of his house, Fumbanks said, and as he was heading to the neighbor’s house, he saw the man the neighbors described.

“He was in their front yard coming toward my front yard at a high rate of speed,” Fumbanks said. “He was cussing, waving his arms, coming right to me; he was in my yard. I gave a warning shot; I shot into the ground and he stopped. He walked into the street and headed toward the end of the street, and a little bit later, the police showed up and caught him.”

Fumbanks said he was standing in his yard when an officer walked up to him and asked who fired the shot.

“I said, ‘I did, I fired a warning shot.’ Without any explanation of what they were doing, she took me under the carport, handcuffed me and took me to jail, processed me and put me in a jail cell.”

During the arrest, Fumbanks said, he was not told why he was being arrested.

“They didn’t ask me why or what happened.”

He was later released on bond.

At the time he was arrested, Fumbanks said, he did not know about the ordinance, adding he has since read it.

Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore and Lt. Johnnie Edwards were contacted, but declined to comment on this story.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John