UPDATE: Vidalia man charged with murder, another with accessory to murder in Wednesday shooting near school

Published 10:22 am Thursday, September 15, 2022

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VIDALIA, La. — Vidalia Police have charged a man with second-degree murder and another with accessory to second-degree murder in an ongoing investigation of an alleged shootout that occurred in broad daylight near a school on Wednesday afternoon.

One man was killed by what Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill described as a “shootout” on Gillespie Street, which is on the same street as Vidalia Junior High School.

Merrill said Wednesday afternoon that the shooting happened on the opposite end of the street, not at the school.

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“We got the call at 12:59 p.m.,” Merrill said. “There was a shootout between two people and one of them got hit.”

Nicholas R. Brown, 27, of Vidalia, died at Trinity Medical Center shortly after the shooting occurred, Merrill said.

Police have two suspects in custody believed to be the shooter and the driver of the vehicle he was in, he said.

After interviewing witnesses, the alleged shooter, 26-year-old Darius A. McMorris of Davis Street in Vidalia, has been charged with second-degree murder. Police identified McMorris’ driver as Henry M. Jefferson Jr., 28, of Levee Heights Road in Ferriday, who has been charged with accessory to second-degree murder.

Merrill said Brown and McMorris knew each other from formerly working together for the Town of Vidalia in the sanitation department and had an altercation that led to the shooting. No other details were immediately available as this investigation is still ongoing.

Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said Brown was not currently working for the town but had previously.

“I knew him as a hard worker,” Craft said. “It’s unfortunate that we had a young man senselessly killed. It’s a sad situation.”