Mass shooting in Gulfport began after 2 of the homicide victims shot each other, police say
By MARGARET BAKER / SUN HERALD
A mass shooting outside a New Year’s Eve party in Gulfport started after two of the four men killed in the melee first got into an argument and allegedly shot one another, a Gulfport police officer said Wednesday.
Shortly after Corey Dubose, 23, and Aubrey Lewis, 22, fired shots, Gulfport police Detective Joe Klein said, others in the crowd on Lewis Street grabbed their weapons, identified as mostly 9 mm handguns and AR-15 assault rifles, and started shooting.
Klein said the shooting had ended by the time he got to the scene.
But, he said, in video footage from a surveillance camera near the scene in the Gaston Point community, police officers could hear gunshots and screams and see some of the estimated 100 party-goers running to get away from the gunfire.
Klein testified Wednesday in preliminary hearings for two of the four men accused in the Lewis Avenue shootings that resulted in the deaths of Dubose, Lewis, Sedrick McCord, 28; and Nathaniel Harris, 52.
Three others were injured. After the arrests,. Gulfport police said they had since uncovered gang-related ties among some of the victims and suspects, though the investigator did not address any gang-related information in his testimony.
When the investigation began, Klein said, police learned the New Year’s party was meant to be a small gathering, but quickly swelled to over 100 people. The party grew, he said, after people passed out fliers about the gathering or posted information about it on social media.
4 SUSPECTS IDENTIFIED SO FAR
So far, three of the four suspects accused in the killings are in custody in Harrison County:
- Mario Clark, 23, arrested on one count of second-degree murder and two counts of shooting into a dwelling.
- Vincent Jaquan Armstrong, 18, arrested on one count of second-degree murder and two counts of shooting into a dwelling.
- Khalid Williams, 26, arrested on one count of second-degree murder, two counts of shooting into a dwelling, and one count of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
- A fourth suspect, identified as Isavian Preston, 23, is in custody for identity theft at the Hopkins County jail in Madisonville, Kentucky. Madisonville police arrested Preston on Jan. 4. He is being held without bond pending extradition back to Mississippi to face charges of first- and second-degree murder in the Gulfport killings.
In testimony Wednesday, Klein talked about the evidence in the cases against Armstrong and Williams, both of whom are accused of second-degree murder in the killing of Harris along with other charges. Clark’s hearing had also been scheduled but was canceled because he is currently in isolation at the Harrison County jail.
After hearing testimony in the case, Justice Court Judge Brandon Ladner found enough evidence to send the case to a Harrison County grand jury for indictments.
Read more about the preliminary hearing at sunherald.com.