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Local law enforcement agencies faced 14 homicides in 2020

If 2020 needed another scar on its record, the number of homicides recorded in Vicksburg during the year was more than triple the number recorded in 2019.

During the year, Vicksburg had 11 homicides, compared to just three from the year before. In Warren County, investigators with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office handled three homicides in 2020.

The Vicksburg Police Department investigated seven homicides in 2018.

Of the 11 homicides within the city limits, five remain unsolved, while arrests have been made in each of the three that took place in the county.

Faced with the high number of violent deaths and five unsolved cases, police are getting help from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which Monday approved using city funds to double the $2,500 Crime Stoppers reward for tips that can solve the open cases. Police believe increasing the $2,500 maximum reward offered by Crime Stoppers will influence people to come forward with leads.

“We’re hoping it will influence people with information on these cases to come forward and help us solve them,” said Lt. Johnnie Edwards, chief of the Vicksburg Police Department’s criminal investigation division.

“I think it’s a tool that will help bring forth information that will be pertinent to those cases,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said after Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “We intend to solve all those cases.”

Flaggs said he talked with Police Chief Milton Moore and Edwards “and we’re going to do a better job of keeping these families informed. The families want closure and we want to help them.”

Moore commended the board, saying appreciated the board’s action. “We need all the help we can to try and get someone to come forward and give us information on these homicides,” he said. “Any help will be gratefully appreciated.”

Homicides investigated by the Vicksburg Police Department:

• Brandin Lane, Feb. 22: Vicksburg police officers responding to a 2:40 a.m. call about a shooting at 240 Bazinsky Road found Lane, 29, lying in the front yard of the home. He had been shot once in the abdomen and was taken to Merit Health River Region, where he was pronounced dead. No arrest has been made.

• Demarcus Preacely, 32, May 12: Officers responding to a 3:20 a.m. shots fired call in the 1600 block of South Street discovered Preacely, 32, suffering from two gunshot wounds. He died minutes later. No arrest has been made.

• Moses Luckett, May 15: According to Vicksburg police, Luckett, 37, was shot once in the chest at an apartment at New Main Apartments on Alcorn Drive. He died later. Summer McGee, 20, of Yazoo County, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Bobby Gene McGee, 26, of Yazoo City, who is also charged with murder in the case, remains at-large.

• Andrew Prudhomme, June 25: Officers responding to an early morning call at a home at 103 Alfred Drive in the Hillcrest subdivision found Prudhomme with multiple gunshot wounds. He was declared dead at the scene. Bennard Craft, 23, was arrested and charged with murder in Prudhomme’s death.

• Quinterrious McCoy, June 27: Officers responding to a 10:30 a.m. call of shots fired at the Oyo Hotel on South Frontage Road found McCoy, 23, dead in a hotel room with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Cassondra Rochelle Jones-White, 30, of Vicksburg, was charged with manslaughter in the case.

• Christopher M. Johnson, July 15: Shot in the chest. First responders answering a 5:30 p.m. call that a man with a gunshot wound to the chest was behind the Boston Fish Supreme on Clay Street found Johnson on the ground in the parking lot next to a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Talisha Butler, 35, later called authorities and said she shot Johnson. She was arrested and charged with murder in Johnson’s death.

• Keiylan Cessna, Sept. 7: Cessna, 14, was reportedly walking with two others near the 1200 block of Bowmar Avenue when he was shot and killed. According to police reports, the shooting took place just before midnight and indicated the multiple shots that killed Cessna came from a vehicle driving in the area. Cessna died at the scene. Kevon Dulaney, 17, was charged with murder in the case.

• Wade Carter, Oct. 6: Carter, 31, of Vicksburg, was shot twice in the abdomen during an altercation at LD’s Kitchen, 1111 Mulberry St. in which three people were shot. He was taken by helicopter to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson where he later died. Police have issued a warrant for James Earl Winters, 29, charging him with murder. Winters remains at-large.

• Karl Singleton, Oct. 19: Singleton, 20, received multiple gunshot wounds during a drive-by shooting. Officers responding to calls about the shooting in the 100 block of Enchanted Drive found Singleton inside the home. He was taken to Merit Health River Region, where he was later pronounced dead by Warren County Assistant Coroner Kelda Bailess. No arrests have been made.

• ATreio Richards, Nov. 6:  Richards, 19, was killed on Elizabeth Circle. Officers responding to a call of shots fired found Richards laying beside a vehicle with a gunshot wound to his upper left chest. The vehicle had also been struck several times by bullets. Police later arrested Cornell Antonio Miles, 32, on a charge of first-degree murder. According to police, The shooting reportedly stemmed from an Oct. 6 incident at LD’s Bar and Lounge in which two people were shot and one person was killed.

• Joshua Coffee, Nov. 26: Coffee, 28, was killed in an incident in the 1200 block of Harrison Street in which two other men were wounded. All three were taken to Merit Health River Region, where Coffee was pronounced dead in the hospital emergency room. Officers collected several firearms as evidence at the scene. No arrests have been made.

 

Homicides investigated by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office:

• Gary Michael McAlpin, July 9: McAlpin, 50, known as “Cowboy,” was declared dead in his Jeff Davis Road home by Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey. According to Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace, a sheriff’s deputy on patrol in the Jeff Davis Road area was flagged down just after 5 p.m. by individuals who said they found an acquaintance of theirs who appeared to have been shot. 

Calvin Randall Harrison, 44, was later charged with murder and Leslie Ann Harrison, 37, with being an accessory before the fact to murder.

According to Warren County Sheriff’s Office reports, investigators recovered what they believed to be the murder weapon, a .22 rifle that was discovered in a creek several miles from the crime scene.

• Ethan Powell, Sept. 7: Vicksburg-Warren 911 dispatchers received a call that shots were fired in the 100 block of Abraham Drive and someone might have been hit. Deputies arriving at the scene found Powell, 18, lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to Merit Health River Region where he was pronounced dead by doctors in the hospital emergency room. 

Kemond Urell Jones, 15, was later arrested after his family brought him to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and turned him over to Warren County Sheriff Pace and investigator Sam Winchester. Pace said Jones was arrested on a warrant signed by County Justice Court Judge James Jefferson charging the teen with murder. 

• Evelyn Davenport, Sept. 25: Davenport was shot by her grandson, Samuel Hunter Anderson, 25. Sheriff’s deputies responding to a shooting call in the 9000 block of U.S. 61 found Davenport with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. According to sheriff’s department reports, she named Anderson as the shooter. Anderson was initially charged with aggravated assault but the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder when Davenport died from her wounds on Oct. 7 at University of Mississippi Medical Center.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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