Man killed in early morning shooting in Natchez

Published 10:23 am Sunday, July 8, 2018

NATCHEZ — An 18-year-old man was shot to death early Sunday morning in Natchez, officials say.

Police are investigating the death of Martez Brown, whose body officers found at approximately 2:30 a.m., Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said. Brown was pronounced dead at 3:45 a.m. Sunday by Adams County Coroner James Lee.

The fatal shooting occurred in the 300 Block of Dumas Drive and emergency responders transported Brown to Merit Health Natchez, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Lee said.

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An autopsy has been requested, but Brown appeared to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds upon preliminary examination, Lee said.

“These senseless (killings) must stop now,” Lee said.

Investigators have interviewed three individuals who were with Brown at the time, and all have told police the four of them were outside together minding their business when shots were fired in their direction from the opposite side of the street, Armstrong said.

These three individuals ran for cover and were not struck and told investigators they tried to determine from where the shots came, yet did not see a suspect, Armstrong said.

Officers still intend to interview other subjects who were not part of this group, Armstrong said.

In May 2017, Brown was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly shooting a Natchez man multiple times.

Brown had been out on bond leading up to Sunday’s incident.

While Armstrong noted Brown’s history, the chief said that investigators have not determined any motive for this crime. Though police are investigating leads, Armstrong said, whether they are looking at one or multiple suspects remains unclear.

“But I will say, it’s just a shame and disgrace that certain individuals … devalue life to the extent where it doesn’t mean anything to them to take a life,” Armstrong said.

No arrests had been made in Sunday’s shooting as of 3 p.m. Sunday, and Armstrong asked any members of the public who might have information about the shooter(s) to contact the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-5565 or Crime Stoppers at 601-442-5000, which could result in up to a $2,500 reward for a successful anonymous tip.