Man charged with Tuesday murder

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NATCHEZ — Police officers called to Rickman Street Tuesday afternoon discovered a mortally wounded Natchez man lying in the street and witnesses with clues.

Soon after, Christopher J. Mackel, 31, 1231 Daisy St., was in jail facing charges of murder.

The victim, Tony J. Hughes, 22, 42 S. Concord Ave., was shot twice in the chest. He was alive when Natchez police arrived, but died approximately 15 minutes later at Natchez Regional Medical Center, Police Chief Mike Mullins said.

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Witnesses on the scene reportedly helped police identify Mackel as the suspect in the crime.

Based on descriptions from neighbors who said they heard gunshots and looked outside, police located Mackel in his van in the area within an hour of the shooting, Mullins said.

A .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol was found under the front seat of the suspect’s van, Mullins said.

“Witnesses at the scene said the altercation between them may have been initiated by the victim,” Mullins said. “The suspect was in his van when the victim approached the van, according to witnesses.”

Blood was found inside the van.

The two men knew each other, Mullins said, and had reportedly had a previous altercation.

Mackel was transported to the hospital after arrest for treatment of a broken hand apparently sustained in the fight. He was in jail without bond Tuesday night.

“The suspect is cooperating with investigators,” Mullins said.

Calls of a shooting came in to police at 2:42 p.m. The incident occurred near Fraser Street an area off D’Evereux Drive.