Natchez police: Feud led to fatal shooting; two men charged with murder, third suspect on the loose

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Natchez Police have charged Kadeem Conner, 25, of Natchez, and Mark Jordan Mitchell, 32, of Natchez with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder stemming from Friday night’s shooting.

Travione Jones, 19, and Devon Winchester, also 19, were gunned down in a hail of bullets after exiting a car in the parking lot of the strip mall behind Popeye’s on D’Evereux Drive.

The shooters, suspected of using an assault-type weapon, fired from outside Cash Savers supermarket, killing Jones and Winchester and injuring three others. Police recovered dozens of shell casings from the shooting.

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Natchez Police also have a warrant out for Jamionte Davis, 22, also for two counts murder and three counts attempted murder for his alleged involvement Friday night. However, Davis is not in custody and is suspected of fleeing the state.

Natchez Police Commander Jerry Ford said his officers have recovered the weapon thought to have been used in Friday’s murder, as well as other weapons that may be linked to previous shootings.

“I think we may be able to clear up some of our other shootings here. We are sending them off to the lab to be tested, but I feel strongly that we will,” Ford said.

He said the motive for the killings was an ongoing feud between those involved. Jones is believed to have been the target of the shooters, and perhaps one of the three who were injured.

However, Ford said Winchester does not seem to have been a target.

“He was with the wrong company at the wrong time,” he said.

Ford expects other charges are coming for those apprehended and expects more arrests in the case.

“This is not the end of our investigation,” he said. “We want to send a strong message out to these individuals who think they can go around the city shooting up people and shooting into large crowds and making it unsafe for citizens to walk down the streets. They need to know this kind of action will not be tolerated in Natchez. We are putting our efforts toward moving all these individuals and guns off the street even as we speak.”

Natchez Police Chief Cal Green said the men involved have been suspected in other crimes in the city.

“We just haven’t been able to pin them down on them,” she said. On Friday night’s shooting, “We received information from several sources and once we started questioning people, stories were not adding up. We started finding inconsistencies and basically picked those stories apart.”

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson lavished praise on the Natchez Police Department.

“The absolute credit for breaking this case goes to the hard-working detectives in our police department. They have worked solidly long hours ever since this incident,” Gibson said. “We are seeing a fantastic attitude under the leadership of our new Chief Cal Green. I just can’t say enough about the direction we are taking now with regard to law enforcement. We have hard working men and women who will not clock out and not go home in some cases until they have solved a crime.”

Gibson issued a warning to judges who become involved with the case.

“Our detectives have worked so hard to now make these arrests and to work these cases in a way where each is very solid. It is now incumbent upon our legal system to not let these families and victims down. We worked too hard to arrest these individuals. They are now in jail and that is where they need to stay, period,” the mayor said. “We will be watching and if any bonds are given on any of these individuals, we will immediately alert the public.

“It defeats our hard-working effort to then have individual we arrest turned back out where they can commit further crimes and inflict further harm on the citizens of Natchez,” Gibson said.

Ford said the city police department owes a big thank you to Sheriff Travis Patten and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

“They were here by our side the entire time and we were able to utilize all of their resources to help to solve this case,” Ford said.