Second shooting victim found on Ken Karyl|[06/28/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2008

A man’s body discovered Friday afternoon in the backyard of a vacant Ken Karyl Avenue home is believed to be the second victim of a Thursday night shooting that left a pregnant woman dead, police said.

A crew of contract workers discovered the body of Preston L. Qualls, 25, 1523 Ethel St., around 1:30 Friday afternoon while renovating a house at 2630 Ken Karyl Ave., two houses from where 25-year-old Denise Jackson, who was 4 1/2 months pregnant, was shot to death around 6 p.m. Thursday.

“We believe he has been there since yesterday and was an innocent bystander of yesterday’s shooting,” said Vicksburg Police Lt. Bobby Stewart. “It is very possible Eric Jackson will face additional charges as a result.”

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Eric DeShawn Jackson, 26, 2609 Grant St., was in the Warren County Jail on two counts of murder, four counts of aggravated assault, shooting into an occupied dwelling and felony weapon possession. Jackson surrendered to police early Friday, about 12 hours after the shooting, and was denied bond at his initial court hearing Friday morning.

Roe-Dorothy Qualls said her son was friendly, outgoing and had many friends in his hometown of Vicksburg. He lived with his grandmother and leaves behind three children, ages 7, 2 and 8 months, said his mother.

“He always had a smile on his face,” she said. “My baby had a beautiful smile.”

Stewart speculated that police did not discover Qualls’ body immediately after Thursday’s shooting because it was in a partially wooded backyard lot of a vacant house, and also due to police efforts to control a large crowd of people who had gathered on Ken Karyl following the shooting.

“It was total chaos here yesterday. There were probably 200 people gathered in the street,” he said. “The contractors had been working here since 7 a.m., and they didn’t find the body until 1:30 this afternoon.”

Stewart said no one had reported Qualls missing to police, and he appeared to have been killed by a single gunshot wound. Warren County Deputy Coroner Kelda Bailess said Qualls body was sent to the Mississippi Crime Lab in Jackson to undergo an autopsy set for Friday evening or this morning.

Denise Jackson, 25, 2634 Ken Karyl Ave., was not related to Eric Jackson. She was shot once in the neck by one of four stray bullets fired into her home after an argument outside escalated. Police said the gunfire was the result of a feud between the two Jackson families over a video game. She was found crouched behind a couch in her living room. Her grandfather and three children — ages 7, 5 and 1 1/2 — were also in the home at the time of the shooting.

Denise Jackson’s stepfather, Michael Jackson, said his daughter’s family was not involved in an argument with Eric Jackson before shots were fired.

“There was no feud between the Jackson families,” said Jackson, who was not at the scene at the time of the shooting. “There was another guy the (shooter) was after — about the PlayStation game — and he was running down the road when my baby was shot.”

Meanwhile, a Vicksburg man accused of a separate homicide that took place Wednesday was denied bond at his initial court hearing Friday.

Eric Davis, 34, 112 Meadowvale Drive, was ordered by Judge Allen Derivaux to stay behind bars pending a grand jury examination of his case. Davis, as well as Jackson — whose initial court appearance was also presided over by Derivaux — are convicted felons.

Davis is accused of killing Devin Moore, 23, 106 Meadowvale Drive, who was found at the end of Davis’ driveway unconscious and with multiple gunshot wounds Wednesday night around 10. Moore, who was shot in the chest, legs, back and buttocks, was pronounced dead minutes after being taken to River Region Medical Center. Davis surrendered to police about 30 minutes later.

Davis is charged with murder, felony weapon possession and convicted felon using a firearm in the act of a felony.

According to police, Davis and Moore had an ongoing feud about a property line between their homes and an argument that night lead to the gunfire. An autopsy has been performed at the Mississippi Crime Lab on the bodies of Denise Jackson and Moore, but results were not available Friday evening, said Bailess.

“It has been a long, long week,” said Stewart. “This brings our total to six homicides in Vicksburg this year — seven when you count the unborn child — which matches the total for all of last year.”

One homicide has been recorded in the county in 2008.