Before Roland Mitchell Dampeer allegedly shot Sherry Ingold on Jan. 16 – causing her death days later — he reportedly terrorized another local woman during two separate incidents earlier that day.
Attala County District Attorney Doug Evans said in March that Dampeer had been indicted on kidnapping charges after Dampeer allegedly assaulted Andrea Goss of Carmack in the Sunflower supermarket on Highway 12 in Kosciusko.
Goss has never publicly discussed her experience before, but agreed to an interview with The Star-Herald this week. She said she speaks now to quell rumors that ran rampant on social media following the incident and to remind people that Dampeer had more than one victim.
“I guess I just want to help people understand how bad he (Dampeer) really is,” she said.
It all started when Goss went to Sunflower to pick up lunch from the deli counter. She said she had just turned around from the counter when she came face-to-face with Dampeer.
“I turned around from the cashier at the deli and he was right there in my face, and he said, ‘Hey, come with me.’ I told him no, that I didn't know him and then that's when he grabbed me and started pulling me. That’s all he said to me,” said Goss. “It just felt like I was in a horror movie. You just don’t ever expect anything like that to happen.”
When she continued to fight him off, Dampeer picked her up from the ground.
She remembers loudly saying, “’Let me go. Please put me down. Please, somebody help me,’ trying to get somebody's attention.”
Goss said she still cannot understand why no one helped her.
“A lot of people thought me and him were together. Even if that were the case, I don't see how people would not step in to help. Nobody came to help me and in the video there were men standing at the end of the aisle … just looking into the aisle,” she said. “When he carried me down the aisle and threw me in the meat cooler, they were just, just looking. They never even tried to help me.”
Goss said everyone thinks they know how they would react in such a situation, but they do not know until something life-threatening happens to them.
“My mind kind of went away from my body, because I've always thought if something ever happened like that, I'm going to do this and this, but I just lost all of all of that,” she said. “I couldn't even think of what to do but to try to get away.”
Goss said she does not understand why Dampeer carried her toward the back of the store instead of out the closer front doors.
“I really don't know. I don't understand. I think he could have just carried me outside or whatever when nobody really came to try to help me. I don't know why he went to the back of the store. Maybe he thought there was a back entrance, but it was all workers where they cut meat up. Maybe he saw that and thought, ‘Okay, I can't go out.’”
Dampeer dropped her into one of the meat coolers, warned bystanders away, and walked back to the front of the store, where he exited the building.
After speaking to police called to the scene, Goss returned to work at Central Tire Service and waited for her father to arrive to accompany her home.
In what she describes as something like a scene in a horror movie, she came face-to-face with her assailant a second time.
As she drove up Highway 35 toward home, her father following behind in his truck, a vehicle coming from the opposite direction came to a stop near the home of Pearline Cummins.
“It’s just like a very scary movie where you can't get away from the bad guy. I was going downhill and he was going the opposite way down. I saw him pretty much stop in the middle of the road. And I was thinking, he must not be paying attention; they might be wanting to get into this driveway; they're just, they're not thinking,” she said.
She said that she had not heard a description of his vehicle and did not realizer her situation at first.
“But he immediately knew that it was me, because then he got into my lane. We were bumper-to-bumper and he smiled and waved at me. I immediately knew it was him.”
She put her vehicle in reverse and her father then followed suit, each backing up the hill they had just descended. Dampeer’s vehicle continued forward, she said, remaining nearly bumper-to-bumper with hers.
Goss said her father attempted to warn Dampeer away, despite Dampeer having a firearm.
“He (Goss’s father) holds his gun out his window and shows the guy like, ‘Hey, I got a gun!’” she said. “So, that made him (Dampeer) kind of pause for just a second and I had just a little bit of space to get around his bumper.”
She said she rapidly drove up the next hill and saw Dampeer’s vehicle pull toward the side of the road, possibly intending to turn around. As she crested the hill and lost site of the scene, she called her father.
“When I couldn't see him anymore, I called and asked him what was going on because I was afraid for my dad,” she said.
Her father told her he was calling law enforcement and hung up. When she arrived at her home she waited, relieved when her father arrived minutes later.
It was only later that Goss said her father recalled seeing what he now believes was Sherry Ingold’s vehicle in his rearview mirror, turning on to Highway 35 North from Highway 440, headed toward Pearline Cummins’ house to deliver mail — the location where she was allegedly shot by Dampeer.
“We didn't know if that guy got turned around and followed us, so my dad was just trying to get to me as fast as he could, to make sure that if (Dampeer) did, my dad would be there,” she said.
But Dampeer had not followed them.
Minutes after her father arrived at Goss’s home, shaken but uninjured, Goss’s father-in-law showed up and told them that Sherry Ingold had been shot.
Roland Mitchell Dampeer, the man Goss is “100% sure” is her assailant, has been indicted on attempted kidnapping charges locally. Kosciusko Police Chief Herbert Dew has indicated the case will not be pursued in local courts until federal charges in relation to the Ingold murder are resolved.
Goss said it doesn’t matter which charges Dampeer is convicted of — as long as he is never released from custody.
“I am heartbroken for Mrs. Sherry’s family and if we can get justice for her, then that is justice for me, as well. I pray justice will be served,” she said. “I hope that he gets charged fully and that he can never get out.”
Goss admits that since her attack, she struggles to live the kind of life she had previously. She spends the vast majority of her time at home with her husband of five years, Cody, raising their two little boys, aged 3 and 2.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day. I have anxiety and I’m still very cautious about where I go. I don’t get out much unless I really have to, and, if I do, I carefully watch every surrounding,” she said. “I tried to go back to work. I thought I had relaxed a bit, but those memories all crammed back in. I just can’t be out and go through that area a lot.”
The thought that Dampeer might someday be free is almost unimaginable to her.
“I’m hoping that is not the case,” she said. “If there is a chance that he could get out, I’m going to have to live in fear for the rest of my life.”