Charges upgraded in shooting; Accused shooter heads to court

Published 12:13 am Friday, February 6, 2015

LORMAN — The Natchez man charged in the fatal shooting of Natchez native and former Jackson State University football player Travis Woods will make his first appearance in court today.

Meanwhile, members of the Natchez community will gather tonight to remember Woods with a candlelight vigil.

Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas said Kennen McCallister, 21, will make his initial court appearance at 10 a.m. this morning in Claiborne County Justice Court on charges of one count of murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

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Following his initial arrest, McAllister had been charged with one count of aggravated assault as investigators tried to piece together what happened.

In addition to the shot that killed Woods, McCallister is charged with the non-fatal shootings of two others, Freddie Nash and Jadarrius Jackson.

McCallister — who was working as a security guard — was apparently trying to break up a fight outside Patton’s Store in Lorman at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday when he allegedly fired the shots that struck the victims, Lucas said.

Ashton Davis, who was Woods’ fiancée, said in recent weeks he had become more interested in violent crime and how it could be stopped in the community, especially among young people.

“He wanted to start public awareness programs toward things like that,” Davis said.

“Travis was laid back, he was kind of quiet, but around those who knew him, he was kind of a joker. He was liked by everybody. Even though he was quiet by nature, when he spoke it made everybody pay attention.”

Woods will be remembered at an 8 p.m. vigil tonight at the Natchez High School football field.

His NHS football jersey, No. 28, will be retired, and several groups will pay tribute to Woods with a balloon release symbolizing his goal of ending gun violence, Woods’ cousin Earline Collins said.

Woods, 23, was a 2009 graduate of NHS, and went on to play for JSU. He was a starting defensive back for the JSU team in 2013.

McCallister is likewise a graduate of NHS, and played on the team with Woods in 2008.

In addition to the vigil, a memorial service will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the Cannonsburg area.

Public visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. at the church.

A celebration of life will be noon Saturday at the Natchez High School gymnasium.