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Man arrested for noises near Camp Shelby; unclear if gunfire

August 5, 2015

NEW AUGUSTA, Mississippi (AP) — The man authorities say made loud noises outside a Mississippi military base on consecutive days was charged Wednesday with disturbing the peace and illegally possessing weapons, but investigators are still trying to determine whether the sounds were gunshots or his pickup truck backfiring.

Soldiers training at the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center had reported shots fired into the air Wednesday in the same area where soldiers reported gunshots from a pickup truck a day earlier, Lt. Col. Christian Patterson said.

Perry County Sheriff Jimmy Dale Smith said police arrested Alfred Baria, 61, who claims he can make his maroon Isuzu pickup backfire on command. Smith said officials were still questioning Baria and wouldn’t say whether they believe Baria was firing a gun or his truck was backfiring.

Baria was charged with four misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace related to the noises. He was also charged as a felon illegally possessing guns after authorities searched his house and found a rifle and a pistol. Baria was previously convicted on drug charges, Smith said.

Video from two television stations show authorities taking a man into custody Wednesday. A small maroon pickup truck is pulled off the side of the highway. Two long pieces of white PVC pipe are visible sticking out of the back of the bed of the pickup

In the video, the driver gets out with his hands raised and backs out toward two armed law enforcement officers. The man lowers himself to his knees, lowers his arms and clasps his hands behind his back. The video ends at that point.

Photos from the scene show officers going through the truck.

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The story corrects the dateline to New Augusta, Mississippi.

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