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1 dead in multiple shootings in Natchez overnight

NATCHEZ — Nearly half a dozen people were in police custody Saturday night, under investigation for a shooting spree across several locations in the city earlier that morning that left one man dead and at least three injured.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said a combined law enforcement effort Saturday that included six different state and local law enforcement agencies led to the apprehension of suspects in the death of Lewis Jackson III, 25.

Armstrong said he would not release the identities of the people held for questioning, but believes the police will press formal charges as soon as Monday.

Jackson was killed in the shooting and at least three other men were shot and transported to medical facilities, Armstrong said. Investigators believe the shootings were the latest in a string of shootings that stem from a feud between rival neighborhood groups that dates back more than year. The shootings have terrorized parts of Natchez over the last year.

Witnesses told investigators they saw a perpetrator going from location to location shooting sometime after midnight in the early morning hours Saturday, Armstrong said.

“It seems as if it has some similarities to what happened last year (Oct. 1) when a vehicle went to three or four places, hitting three or four people and in some case missing,” Armstrong said. “I don’t think anybody else received life-threatening injuries.”

Armstrong said the multiple shootings occurred at Brenham Avenue, Aldrich Street and the Holiday Apartments. Police also investigated a report of a shooting on Beaumont Street in the early Saturday morning hours. No injuries were reported in the Beaumont shooting.

The shootings at the Holiday Apartments led to two injuries inside one apartment and the death of Jackson, who was shot outside the apartments.

Jackson had one wound and was pronounced dead at the Merit Health Natchez emergency room, Adams County Coroner James Lee said.

The Natchez Police Department met Saturday afternoon with the members of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Commissioner of Public Safety, Marshall Fisher, to collaborate on the investigation.

The collaboration resulted in the apprehension of four or five individuals Saturday evening, Armstrong said, who were being detained.

Armstrong said he was not ready to release the names of suspects Saturday night.

“No one has been charged. We have come across several weapons,” Armstrong said. “We anticipate charges being filed no later than Monday and this operation is still ongoing.”

Armstrong said he expects more people will be charged in connection to the case.

“We have identified others who were involved, so we are anticipating more arrests as time goes on,” Armstrong said.

A similar shooting incident occurred one week ago at approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, killing Damion Green, 23, after he was shot at the Maryland Heights apartment complex. Two others at different locations received non-life-threatening injuries in that incident.

“We believe this is a continuation of retaliation for other similar incidences,” Armstrong said, including the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting in Natchez, in which several men rode in the back of a pickup truck, shooting at multiple locations and killing one.

Nine suspects were indicted in that incident earlier this month, and Armstrong said he believes justice has been administered to the perpetrators in that incident.

“Others who may not have been initially involved,” Armstrong said, “may be going after others they believe were involved in it, taking the law into their own hands and retaliating.”

Armstrong said it is not up to individuals to administer justice and if someone believes someone has been involved in a crime, they should take it to the proper law enforcement agency to be handled through the court system.

“Families need to get involved with their loved ones, get in their heads,” Armstrong said. “If someone has large amounts of weapons and ammunition, that’s a clue, a clue their loved ones might be involved in something that can get them or their loved ones hurt.

Armstrong encouraged anyone with information on the case to call the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-3554 or Crime Stoppers at 601-442-5000.

 

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