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Two men killed, one arrested in apparent domestic violence situation

NATCHEZ — Two Adams County volunteer firefighters were killed late Friday and a suspect was arrested after an apparent domestic dispute turned deadly.

Jonathan Beach, 36, has been charged with two counts of murder after reportedly killing two local men, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said he was called to the scene of a double homicide at  620 U.S. 61 North where the two men were found dead.

Lee said Jason Haley, 34, and Troy Whittington, 31, were pronounced dead at 1 a.m. Lee said both men appeared to have died from gunshot wounds.

Patten said Haley and Whittington were apparently trying to protect Beach’s wife when Beach entered the residence with a weapon. Haley and Whittington were at the residence as a friend of Beach’s wife.

Adams County deputies responded to a 911 call from the residence.

Jonathan Beach posted a public message on social media a few weeks ago that referenced he and his wife were ending their marriage.

Patten said Beach was also shot during the incident and was transported to a Jackson hospital.

“It appears to be a domestic violence situation that ended tragically,” Patten said.

The shooting occurred just before midnight, Patten said.

Beach has since been released and has been transported back to Adams County for more questioning, Patten said.

Lee said both victims will be transported to the state crime lab for autopsies.

Haley was the fire chief for the Liberty Road Volunteer Fire Department and  Whittington was the fire chief for the Lake Montrose Volunteer Fire Department.

Both departments had participated in the Natchez Mardi Gras parade just hours before the shooting.

“My heart goes out to these families,” Lee said. “I truly believe there is another way to settle differences without shooting.”

“It hurts the families and it hurts our community,” Lee said.

Patten said the investigation is ongoing, and he will have more information as it becomes available.

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