Rafael Arnez McCloud allegedly had killed once before. More than eight months later – and days after escaping a Mississippi jail – he appeared poised to kill again. Wielding a bloody knife, he held a man and woman and their five-year-old son hostage in a bathroom of their Vicksburg home. But this time, he was the one that ended up dead.
Early Thursday, the 24-year-old wife and mother, who’d been allowed to leave the bathroom, returned with a handgun and fired one shot at McCloud, police said. She then freed her husband, who “took control of the weapon and fired additional shots, strikingMcCloud.” The husband went outside and flagged down a motorist, who called 911. Neighbor Ollie Dixon saw him outside, “wounded and bleeding everywhere.”
“He wasn’t screaming,” Dixon told CNN affiliate WLBT. “He was just looking like he was in shock.” Shock soon reverberated elsewhere around Western Mississippi. People there had been on edge for over a week since McCloud escaped from jail after holding an employee hostage and stealing his clothes. That set off an intense manhunt involving local, state and federal authorities. Its end – with the 34-year-old McCloud killed by his latest hostages – that was “certainly not the outcome that we wanted,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said, but was relieved nonetheless.
Vicksburg police Capt. Sandra Williams said after the couple took down McCloud, “There’s no telling how many lives were saved.”