Crime

Waveland shooting was city's first murder in two years

Crime scene tape surrounds Jason Duffy's house on Dicks Street in Waveland on Nov. 30. Duffy was shot to death there on Nov. 29.
Crime scene tape surrounds Jason Duffy's house on Dicks Street in Waveland on Nov. 30. Duffy was shot to death there on Nov. 29. SUN HERALD

WAVELAND -- Investigation of Sunday's fatal shooting on Dicks Street was in full swing Monday as police tried to identify a suspect in the city's first murder in two years.

Police said they found Jason Duffy, 42, shot multiple times in his home after responding to a report of a shooting about 4:15 a.m.

Duffy was taken to Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, where he died. Police have said he died of gunshot injuries to the head.

Duffy lived in a neighborhood between Waveland Avenue and Sycamore Street.

Yellow crime-scene tape remained around his overgrown lot Monday afternoon and more tape encircled the residence. Paint cans, a cooler, a trash bag and an upside-down table sat near the front porch of the white home with vinyl siding. A load of lumber behind the house was covered with blue tarp.

Neighbors, who didn't want to give their names, said they either heard the shots fired or woke up to a commotion as police vehicles lined the narrow street before dawn Sunday. Several of them called police.

Duffy's Facebook profile says he was self-employed and worked as a commercial fisherman. His family and close friends did not respond to the Sun Herald's messages.

Police have confirmed Duffy had been in a relationship with Shelby Luciano, a 23-year-old Waveland woman killed in a hit-and-run accident June 18. Her body was found on Waveland Avenue near Spruce Street, a short distance from Duffy's home. Allen said police have heard Duffy had married someone else in recent months but he wasn't sure if that is true.

Allen said police have no reason to believe Duffy's murder was connected to

Luciano's death.

Duffy's autopsy was scheduled for Monday and results were not available by Monday afternoon.

Police Chief Dave Allen said details in the case are being withheld pending further investigation.

"We are talking to numerous people but don't have a person of interest," Allen said.

"We're establishing time lines, looking at evidence from the scene, considering possible motives and ramping up the investigation. We are still in the early, early stages of the investigation. It's not like we found someone there with a smoking gun."

Duffy is the first person murdered in Waveland since David Bourgeois, 58, was found dead in a shack Dec. 25, 2013. Edward "Nick" Winnicki Jr., 65, has been indicted on a murder charge. He is accused of stabbing Bourgeois several times and killing him by shoving a 5-inch tube of foot cream down his throat. Police have said both men were homeless.

Police record

Duffy was a felon who had served his time.

Records in Hancock County Circuit court show Duffy pleaded guilty Feb. 22, 2007, to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. A grand jury had indicted him from an incident reported March 8, 2006.

Then-Circuit Judge Jerry Terry sentenced Duffy to 10 years in prison and suspended prison time. Terry gave Duffy credit for time served and ordered post-release supervision.

Circuit Judge Roger Clark signed an order Aug. 14, 2009, to discharge Duffy from probation.

Accused in a fire

Following Duffy's arrest after indictment, he and another man were accused of setting a fire in a temporary jail cell behind a building off Mississippi 603. The old Hancock County jail had been destroyed and detainees were held put in temporary cells before they were taken to the Pearl River County jail.

Hancock County jailers reported they heard banging on a temporary cell door Dec. 23, 2006, and saw smoke billowing from the back of the cell. The fire was put out with an extinguisher.

The men faced a charge of destruction of county property. Justice Court records show Duffy's charge was forwarded to circuit court. Resolution of the charge did now appear in circuit court records, a court clerk said.

To give a tip

Anyone with information about Duffy's killing is asked to call the Waveland Police Department at 467-3669, or Hancock County Dispatch at 255-9191 after business hours.

Tipsters also can call Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898, text CSTIP plus a message to at 274637 (CRIMES) or give a tip online at mscoastcrimestoppers.com. Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to a felony arrest. Tipsters can remain anonymous, even while collecting a reward.

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