02/05/2001

Sheriff says stolen van suspect shot himself
[Natchez, MS]

February 2, 2001, Friday Acadiana Edition
Copyright 2001 Capital City Press
The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA.)
February 2, 2001, Friday Acadiana Edition

(NATCHEZ, Miss.) -- A Natchez man driving a stolen van shot himself to death when confronted by a deputy sheriff, Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell said.

James C. Bonds, 40, died Wednesday afternoon in Homochitto National Forest, where he had led officers during a chase.

Ferrell said deputy James Pace was traveling south on U.S. 61 when he spotted a van headed north that had been reported stolen from Natchez.

Pace tried to stop the van, but the suspect sped away, Ferrell said.

Ferrell said Bonds had been identified as a forgery suspect and state troopers were preparing to intercept him on Miss. 33 in Franklin County.

Pace began to return to Natchez when he passed the stolen van hidden in the driveway of Sandy Creek Wildlife Management Area headquarters, Ferrell said.

The deputy stopped, and as he exited his patrol car Bonds pointed a loaded pistol at him, Ferrell said. When Pace drew his weapon, Bonds turned the weapon on himself and fired, the sheriff said.

Ferrell said Bonds was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner James Lee.

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