Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton, speaking on behalf of the City of Raleigh, Mississippi, sadly reports the death of Officer E. Paul Morris.

Officer Morris died as a result of injuries he sustained in a single vehicle crash. For reasons that are not clear at this time, Morris’ patrol vehicle left the roadway, struck a tree and overturned. The vehicle then burst into flames. Further details of the crash are not being released at this time.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is leading the crash investigation with the assistance of the State Highway Patrol and the Smith County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s devastating. It’s devastated our town,” Raleigh resident Misty Graham said. “We are such a small town and when you lose someone like that so tragically, it’s hard.”

The law enforcement officer had been with the Raleigh Police force for less than two years, reported msnewsnow.

“I live right down the road from where it happened. It was total devastation,” Graham said. “He some how wrecked and the car caught on fire.”

As black ribbons covered the front door to the department, residents said Morris will never be forgotten.

“Very happy man. He was always smiling,” Graham said. “Always smiling, always speaking to somebody. Just real nice.”

The town’s attorney, David Garner, said specific details are not being released due to the ongoing investigation, but they did say that Morris is the only person that was involved in the crash.

“Naturally, it’s always a tragedy when any life is lost,” Garner said. “We are especially sensitive to the fact this was a member of the law enforcement community, who had dedicated his life to serving others. It’s always a great tragedy to see one who gave the ultimate sacrifice to the service of the public.”

“He’s going to be missed, greatly,” Graham said.

Prior to Morris’ two years with Raleigh Police Department, he served with the Reservoir Police Department.

Officer E. Paul Morris is gone, but will not be forgotten. EOW: Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Paul Morris

(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)