le crime

A Ramer man has been arrested on three different charges after kidnapping a Selmer resident at gunpoint.

(The victim’s name and identifying information have, as per editor’s policy, been removed.)

Shawn Lee Smith, 49, of Ramer, was charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and interference with an emergency call on January 2nd after Deputy Ryan Burlesci was dispatched to a Ramer residence. Dispatch advised that they could “hear (the victim) in the background telling a male to put the gun down,” to which the male (later identified as Smith) told the victim to “shut up and lay down.”

The call then disconnected.

Burlesci made contact with the victim upon arriving on the scene, when victim was able to escape and ran to the officer’s vehicle, shutting and locking themselves inside. The victim said they had been kidnapped and that (Smith) had a gun.

Smith then approached the vehicle, forcing Burlesci to “conduct a felony takedown.”

Smith was placed in handcuffs without further incident.

Upon further interview, the victim explained that Smith had shown up at the victim’s house “without invitation or notice…wearing a mask and gloves,” before he pulled a handgun. Smith stated that he was going to kill the victim for “stealing stuff from his home.”

This accusation is referring to a previous incident between the two that occurred on December 30, when an intoxicated Smith accused the victim of stealing from him. Smith had zero evidence to support this accusation, and officers did not pursue the unfounded case further.

After pulling the handgun on the victim, the victim attempted to defend themselves with their own handgun, which Smith also took.

Smith then stated that he was “going to kill (the victim) with their own handgun so there was no evidence that they were there.”

Smith then forced the victim into his vehicle at gunpoint, took their cell phone and drove them to another residence.

Upon arrival at the other residence—in which lived a relative of Smith’s—Smith ordered the victim to text a relative so that “they knew (the victim) was okay.”

It was at this point that the victim called 911 and hid the phone in their pocket.

Smith then stated that he was going to kill the victim. Moments later, as he began forcing the victim outside, Burlesci pulled up, allowing the victim to escape.

Smith was transported to the McNairy County Jail.

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