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County man shot dead; five people held

Fredessa Sharp points toward the driveway she shares with residents of 1206 Mundy St., where James Turner was killed Wednesday night. Sharp lives on Locust Street and saw the events unfold from her kitchen window facing Mundy Street. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[04/19/01] Fredessa Sharp was standing at her kitchen window just after 7:30 Wednesday night when she heard three gunshots and saw 32-year-old James Turner fall to the ground.

“I saw his body go limp and I knew he was dead,” Sharp said.

Vicksburg Police said Thursday morning that five people have been arrested for questioning in Turner’s death, but none had been charged.

Deputy Coroner Larry Chisley said Turner, who lived in the county at 8348 Halls Ferry Road, was pronounced dead at ParkView Regional Medical Center at about 8:50 p.m.

“It appears there are four gunshot wounds, but that is pending the autopsy,” which was scheduled to be performed Thursday night at Mississippi Mortuary Services in Pearl, Chisley said. He said Turner appeared to have been shot in the chest, side, arm and wrist.

Sharp said she called 911 around 7:35 p.m. when she returned to her Locust Street home and saw a crowd gathering nearby.

“I knew when I saw all those people standing out there that there was going to be trouble,” she said. “It was like a street party going on out there.”

Minutes later, Sharp said, she and her 13-year-old daughter were standing in the kitchen cooking dinner when they looked out their window, which faces Mundy Street where Turner was shot.

“We saw two females fighting, and the man that was shot was just trying to break up their fight,” Sharp said.

A 911 dispatcher said three calls reporting the unfolding events were recorded in minutes: the first, to report a fight; the second, to report shots fired; and the third, to report a man had been hit.

Police Sgt. Beverly Prentiss said Turner was trying to break up the women’s fight when another man stepped in and began fighting with him.

Sharp said she saw the whole thing.

“I saw a man go to a car and get a gun out and then we heard the shots,” she said.

Prentiss said 23-year-old Reginald Carter, 1717 Poplar St., surrendered to police at about 1 Thursday morning.

Also arrested are Terren Carter, 19, and Rosemary Maethis, 17, both of 1209 Locust St., Shalanda D. Williams, 22, 1213 Clay St. Apt. A, and Umeka Williams, 18, 816 Jackson St.

Detective Al Farrish said all five were being held at the police station for questioning.

“We are still trying to sort everything out, but we hope to have reached a decision by this afternoon,” Farrish said.

Though seemingly calm Thursday morning, Sharp said the shooting kept her awake all night.

“I have never seen anyone killed right in front of me and I hope I never have to again,” she said.