OCEAN SPRINGS – A 61-year-old woman got the last word when she pulled a gun on a homeless man who was trying to steal her purse. Lt. John Flowers said on Nov. 18, the unnamed victim was shopping at Walmart at 3911 Bienville Blvd., when she went to the parking lot around 8:34 p.m.
Flowers said the woman was approached by an unknown male as she was placing her groceries in her vehicle. The suspect allegedly tried to take her purse from her shopping cart and the victim refused to let it go.
“She resisted,” Flowers said. “The suspect continued his efforts to steal her purse…and in fear of physical danger, the victim at that point removed a .380 caliber handgun from her person…and pointed it at the suspect.”
Flowers said the suspect fled the scene on foot and the woman was not injured.
Investigators obtained surveillance video and canvassed the area for the suspects.
Less than 16 hours after the attack, investigators located the suspects at a local motel.
“They were able to locate and identify the suspects at the Imperial Motel room 107,” Flowers said. “And the suspects were identified as Donald James Peckinpaugh and Vernon Dale Rowe.”
Peckinpaugh, 27, and Rowe, 33, who are both homeless, were taken into custody and charged.
Peckinpaugh was charged with one count of robbery and the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has placed a probation violation hold on him, and Rowe was charged with one count of robbery.