Mississippi Man Suspected Of Killing Mother, 2 Sisters Is Fatally Shot By State Troopers In Arizona

MORENCI, Ariz. (AP) — A man suspected of fatally shooting three family members in Mississippi has been killed in a shootout with Arizona state troopers, according to authorities.

Ivory James Welch III, 54, was wanted in connection with the deaths of his 76-year-old mother and two sisters, according to police in Ridgeland, Mississippi. The bodies were discovered Sunday at a home in Ridgeland, north of Jackson.

Welch’s vehicle was seen leaving the crime scene and “we tracked it all the way through to Dallas and understood it was obvious he was on the run," Ridgeland Police Chief Brian Myers said in a statement.

An arrest warrant was issued for Welch and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force began searching for him.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said troopers located Welch around 7:30 a.m. Monday on a highway near Morenci. The small eastern Arizona town is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of the New Mexico border.

The DPS said troopers tried to arrest Welch, but he fired shots at them before being fatally wounded in a shootout.

Myers said police were asked to conduct a welfare check Sunday and found three women fatally shot.

The victims have been identified as Ida Thomas Welch; Vicky Renee Welch, 56; and Crystal Lynn Welch, 42, according to Myers.

Crystal Welch worked as an associate clinical professor at Mississippi College School of Law and had been president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi's board of directors since last year.