Prayers for Simpson County

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward a small commission – at no extra cost to you.

Joaquin Steven Blackwell of Magee was apprehended Saturday, June 13, 2020 at approximately 2:15 p.m.  Blackwell is the alleged killer of Simpson County Deputy James Blair.


Blackwell was captured in the wooded area behind the Shell Station on Highway 13.  The manhunt for Blackwell began around 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 12, 2020 and continued until his capture on Saturday.

Deputy Blair was shot and killed near the Region 8 Building in Mendenhall on Highway 13 Friday afternoon.  Blair had taken Blackwell to Region 8 for an evaluation for commitment to Whitfield.  Upon exiting the building, Blackwell, who was in handcuffs and shackles, was allegedly able to escape and retrieve the deputy’s gun before shooting Blair several times.

Blackwell ran into the woods behind Region 8.  His orange jumpsuit was found in the woods behind Tutor Funeral Home.  Blackwell only had underwear (boxers) on and no shoes or shirt.  He eluded the police for approximately 23 hours. (I have been informed some of this information is not correct.  Blackwell had on his orange pants…no pants or shoes but not running in his underwear!)

Law enforcement from throughout south Mississippi joined in the manhunt.

Simpson County Sheriff Paul Mullins is a retiree of the  Rankin County  Sheriff’s Department, which turned out with manpower and equipment to aid in the search, as did area police and sheriff departments.  The Mississippi Highway Patrol provided boots on the ground as well as a helicopter which assisted in the capturing of Blackwell.


Sue Note:

(In no way can I name all the area law enforcement agencies that participated in the manhunt….I can say this, Paul Mullins has a lot of friends…James Blair is loved…and Simpson County banded together.)


The Pinola and Harrisville Volunteer Fire Department Chiefs assisted at the 911 office in unloading and distributing the massive amount of food and drinks that were donated by area citizens and businesses.


Two command posts were set up in the county on Saturday, located at the E-911 building and in front of the Region 8 building.  These staging areas were imperative in the managing of the number of law enforcement officers.  The main command post Friday night was in front of the Region 8 building.


Sue Note:

(I have little information on what occurred during the manhunt or Blackwell’s location during the hunt.)


Blackwell was transferred from the scene to the Rankin County jail.


Sheriff Mullins explained there is still a lot of work to do before information can be released to the public.  He believes there is evidence in the woods that might help piece together where Blackwell was hiding.


A Go-Fund-Me account has been set up to provide monetary support to the Blair family.

Deputy Blair and his wife were raising three grandsons due to the death of their daughter.


Here are just a few of the videos from Saturday.  All videos may be viewed on’s Facebook page.

MageeNews is an online news website covering Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi. is an online news site serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.