TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Cornelius Hughes says he's still having difficulty dealing with the death of his brother following an officer-involved shooting Monday morning.
"It takes a strong person, man, to bury my baby brother. I would want him to bury me first, you know? I'm 30 years old, man. I didn't ever expect to go through this," Hughes said.
After officers responded to a "shots fired" call shortly after 9 a.m. at Barley Courts Apartments, Gregory Martinez Hughes, 22, was shot by a Tupelo policeman.
"I understand that an officer, once they arrived on the scene, an officer confronted the suspect, who was armed," Trooper Ray Hall said. "I do know at this time that the suspect did fire upon the officer and the officer returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect."
Hall said that sequence of events has been confirmed by eyewitness statements and evidence found at the scene.
However, not everybody agrees with that, including Hughes' cousin Jermaine Brownlee.
He said he saw what happened.
"[Hughes] tried to put his gun up. By him trying to put his gun up, he shot himself in the leg. When the police heard the shot, the police got out of the car and ran around the building," Brownlee said. "As soon as he ran around the back of this building here, I hear my cousin tell the police, 'I'm shot.' Police hit the corner and opened fire twice."
Many residents who live nearby gave similar reports, but Hall said the eyewitnesses present at the scene contradict those statements.
"You know, there's a lot of rumors going around. We just go by the evidence, the physical evidence, that we have. The autopsy -- if there's any kind of self-inflicting gunshot wound, it will come out in the autopsy, but at this time it doesn't appear that is the case," Hall said.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green said a self-inflicted wound like what was described by witnesses is not possible from what she saw, because there were no wounds below Hughes' waist.
Hall said Hughes had been out on bond from an aggravated assault charge involving a shooting incident.
The officer who shot Hughes has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.