2 dead in shootings in city, county

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Vicksburg man and a Warren County woman were found shot to death in separate killings Monday, and the sheriff’s department made a plea for a family member in one of the slayings to come forward.

By this morning, no arrests had been made in either case.

The body of 19-year-old Maurice Morris, 2228 Grove St., was found about 9:30 a.m. Monday on the sidewalk at Confederate Ridge Apartments, 780 U.S. 61 North, nearly 12 hours after a report of shots fired at the apartment complex, Vicksburg police Sgt. Sandra Williams said.

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Separately, the body of Alicia Michelle Vega, 32, was found about 3 p.m. Monday at her home at 100 Jones Road, Lot 19, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said. He said she had been shot once in the head.

She was pronounced dead at 4 p.m., Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said.

Vega’s body was found in her home by her 15-year-old son who had just come home from school, Pace said. She was alone in the home she shared with her husband, Jason Vega, her son, Jason Vega’s 14-year-old daughter and Jason and Michelle Vega’s 8-year-old son.

Pace said missing from the home was the family’s 2002 brown Dodge Durango with Warren County tag WBD 139.

“We need to locate the vehicle and speak with the 14-year-old daughter because witnesses saw her driving away from the trailer just before the boy came home from school and found his mother,” Pace said this morning.

A weapon was recovered from the home, but Pace said he did not know if it was used in the killing.

In the earlier slaying, in the city, Huskey said Morris died of a single gunshot wound to the chest area and was pronounced dead at 10:30 a.m.

Morris is believed to be one of two masked men attempting to rob two people in the parking lot of the Confederate Ridge apartment complex the night before, Williams said. His body was found with a mask covering his head at the bottom of steps near the complex’s business office, Williams said.

The would-be robbery victims were resident Jermaine Wright, 26, who lived at the complex, and Patrick Tucker, 23, 2106 Baker St.

Police said the two had walked into the parking lot when they were approached by two men wearing masks. Reports indicated shots were fired by the masked men and shots were returned by the would-be victims.

Within minutes, Wright and Tucker fled the parking lot in Wright’s vehicle. Wright went to a nearby convenience store and called 911 to report the shooting, and Tucker left the scene.

Around the same time, Corey Thompson, 25, 4880 U.S. 80, believed to be one of the masked men, showed up at the emergency room of River Region Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The hospital called law enforcement authorities.

Thompson was admitted to the hospital, police said, but a hospital spokesman declined to give information on his condition.

At the convenience store, Wright was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

He was released at about noon Monday after Morris’ body was found, Williams said.

A shotgun was recovered Sunday night in the complex parking lot, near where a second shotgun was found Monday morning, Willliams said. The steps where Morris was found are about 50 yards from the shooting scene, she said.

Williams said the investigation continues today and charges of armed robbery and capital murder against Thompson are pending.

Morris’ and Vega’s bodies were taken to the Mississippi state crime lab in Jackson for autopsies.

Morris’ death was the first killing in the city and Vega’s was the second in the county this year.

Vega’s funeral arrangements were to be handled by Glenwood Funeral Home, and Morris’ were to be handled by Lakeview Funeral Home.