Seeing the worst and best

Published 9:28 am Thursday, June 8, 2017

By Joel McNeece

Thursday, June 1 was a horrible day, and yet I saw some of the best of Calhoun County.

I had just bought some pizza sticks to deliver to the granddaughters for lunch when I received the call – someone has been shot near Joe’s Market in Bruce.

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I hurried to the scene and saw several bystanders rushing to the aid of the victim lying on the side of Hwy. 32. Witnessing someone get shot not once, but twice, at close range, would send many running away. These Calhoun Countians ran toward determined to help.

The emotions were real for everyone as they worked tirelessly to assist Kimberly Sisk, of Pontotoc, a mother of two, who was struggling for her life. The ambulance arrived in quick time, and thanks to the many so fast to help, as of this writing, Kimberly Sisk is still alive.

The shooter, Adrian Leon Golden, also of Pontotoc, took off running on foot through the neighborhoods of South Bruce and into the thick, wooded area near the Skuna Canal.

I followed the police officers and sheriff’s department as they pursued him, receiving directions from several witnesses who saw him running, still with a gun in his hand.

No one knew at the time that search would go on for days, and continues now, but the efforts and bravery of the officers working the case can’t be questioned.

Determined to find this man, not just to bring him to justice, but for the protection of the citizens of Calhoun County, officers searched the jungle-like thicket around the clock for 24 hours. They spotted him once from a distance for only a second, but the thickness of the vegetation kept them from getting to him.

It was dreadful conditions for a manhunt. Inside the woods, you could barely see 10 feet in front of you. There were giant cottonmouth snakes you couldn’t see until you were right on top of them, and they saw several. Rain poured through much of it, preventing them from getting requested helicopters with thermal imaging cameras to come help search.

I stayed on the road with Bruce Chief Stan Evans who refused to leave his post. Stan has battled every health ailment imaginable the past two years, multiple times being told he wasn’t likely to survive. He’s shucked all that aside like the U.S. Marine he is.

Watching all the officers, both Bruce PD and Calhoun S.O. work tirelessly for days reminded me of the G.K. Chesterson quote, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” That certainly sums up Stan as well as anything.

Numerous law enforcement agencies have gotten involved determined to find Golden wherever he may be. No one is more frustrated than them that he’s not yet in custody, but they’re committed to getting the job done.

“We’ll get him,” Stan said with an absolute certainty. I believe him.

Joel McNeece is publisher of The Calhoun County Journal in Bruce. You may email him at