State Watch

Six dead, suspect in custody after string of shootings in Mississippi

Six people were killed Friday following a string of shootings in a rural part of Mississippi, officials said. 

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said in a Facebook post that the shootings occurred in Tate County in the northern part of the state. He said the suspect, who was taken into custody, acted alone. 

“I will ensure that the full resources of the state are available to law enforcement as we continue to investigate the situation,” he said. 

Bailey Martin, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, confirmed six people were killed. She said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been asked to assist in the investigation, which is ongoing. 

The Hill has reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment. 

Katherine King, an administrative employee at the sheriff’s office, told The Associated Press that the suspect, 52-year-old Richard Dale Crum, was arrested on one charge of capital murder.

She said Crum was being held without bond.

Sheriff Brad Lance told reporters that the shootings happened at a convenience store and two houses. He said Crum was armed with a shotgun and two handguns.

Lance said Crum killed a man who was sitting in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck outside a convenience store in the small town of Arkabutla, located not far from the state’s border with Arkansas and Tennessee. 

Lance said officials were on the scene of the first shooting when they received a 911 call reporting another shooting. He said they found a woman, whom they identified as Crum’s ex-wife, shot and killed and her husband wounded.

He said officials arrested Crum outside the home after catching up with him.

Officers then found the bodies of two handymen, one of whom was in the road and one of whom was in an SUV. After that they found Crum’s stepfather and the stepfather’s sister dead in a neighboring home.

Lance said officials were working to bring additional charges against Crum.

An elementary school and a high school for the town of Coldwater were briefly on lockdown during the afternoon while the suspect had not yet been captured, but it was lifted shortly after. A message posted on the schools’ Facebook page said all students and staff members were safe. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also assisting the sheriff’s office and state officials with the investigation. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

— Updated Feb. 18 at 12:27 p.m.

Tags Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Mississippi Shooter shooting Tate Reeves Tate Reeves

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