Crime

MSU student killed in attempted robbery, police say

Four young adults and teens were arrested Sunday after a Mississippi State University senior was shot to death during an attempted robbery, Starkville police said.

Joseph Tillman, 21, was identified as the victim. He was a senior marketing major from Schlater, a small town in the Mississippi Delta.

Police received a call of shots fired about 1:50 a.m. Sunday on Maxwell Street, the Starkville Police Department said in a news release. The neighborhood is off University Drive, just west of the campus.

Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt said Tillman’s body was found in the yard of some apartments, according to WTVA of Columbus.

Police said a traffic stop led to the four arrests and weapons were found in the vehicle.

Police arrested Jaylen M. Barker, 20, on a charge of murder. He was held on $1 million bond.

Jamario Pippins, 22; Tyler Harris, 16; and Brandon Sherrod, 19, were each arrested on accessory charges related to the slaying. Their bonds were set at $500,000 each.

Police said all four are from the Columbus/Lowndes County area.

They were being held at the Oktibbeha County jail pending initial court appearances set for Monday.

A U.S. Marshals task force and the Mississippi State Police Department are assisting in the investigation.

Police said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation sent a crime-scene unit to Starkville to collect evidence.

MSU spokesman Sid Salter told WTVA the university grieves Tillman’s loss and is offering counseling for students and staff at the Student Counseling Center on campus.

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