Shots Near Military Base— or Just a Backfiring Truck?

Isuzu's owner is still in custody
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 6, 2015 1:30 AM CDT
Backfiring Truck Blamed for 'Shots' Near Military Base
This Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 photo released by the Perry County Sheriff's Department shows Alfred Baria.    (Perry County Sheriff's Department via AP)

Soldiers participating in a training exercise on a Mississippi military base heard it Tuesday and Wednesday—noises they believed were gunshots around the fringes of Camp Shelby. They searched for a suspect in a maroon pickup truck, and it appears that the Isuzu is the one behind the "shots." The man who apparently made the noises told authorities who arrested him yesterday that they were only his battered pickup backfiring. Still, Alfred Baria Sr. remains in jail, charged not only with misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace but also felonies. That's because police found guns at his mobile home and the 61-year-old is barred from having them after a previous felony conviction.

Baria's son says he understands concerns about military safety, but he feels officials were overreacting following repeated statements about gunfire. "I feel like they were just embarrassed," he tells the AP at the home he shares with his father. Authorities say they're still checking out the father's story, though the charges don't allege he shot at soldiers. The son says his dad's pickup explodes every time someone shifts gears and steps on the gas. "It actually sounds like it hits you, it's so loud," the son says. The local sheriff says he couldn't verify whether the truck backfires. "I have not tested the vehicle so I'm not willing to say one way or the other on that part of it," he says. The sheriff says Baria admitted driving the truck in the places and times where the noises were heard. (More Camp Shelby stories.)

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