Video: Pass Christian shooting was not racially motivated
PASS CHRISTIAN -- Police Chief Tim Hendricks has confirmed the two men slain in Sunday's post-Mardi Gras parade shooting are not persons of interest. He also is urging anyone who videotaped or photographed any aspect of the shooting to share it with police in any manner they feel comfortable.
"Bring it in, text it, email it or set up an anonymous email account and send it that way," Hendricks said. "Or copy it on an SD card and drop it off in an envelope.
"We need people to do it for the greater good."
Videos or pictures can be sent in a text message to 671-0083, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent in a message on the Pass Christian Police Department's Facebook page. The department's phone number is 452-3301.
Hendricks issued his plea again Friday after giving the Sun Herald an update in the case. He also gave information on the four people wounded, and said one is a woman and all are from South Mississippi.
Isaiah "Winky" Major III, 43, of Pass Christian, and Carlos "Los" Bates, 29, of Gulfport, died at the scene as shots were fired north of the parade route about 15 minutes after the St. Paul Carnival Association parade had ended.
Police estimate 50,000 people attended the parade and 1,000 to 1,500 were in the area when the shots were fired at Ladnier Road and Davis Avenue. One of several people who heard the shots said it sounded like 12 rounds were fired.
About the wounded
The wounded each received treatment at a hospital emergency room. Two were hospitalized and have since been released.
Hendricks said a 29-year-old man was shot three times -- twice in a leg and once in an arm.
A 23-year-old man was shot in the chest.
A 23-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man were each shot in a leg.
"We are investigating to determine what, if any, connection they had to the shooting," Hendricks said. "It could be they were not involved at all. If that's the case, we want to clear them. We don't want to do any type of disservice to the families in any way by implicating them if it's not true.
"We've got to get the word out to the community that we need to see what others saw."
Police would prefer to speak to witnesses in person, he said, but are willing to work with people who are afraid to meet with them or who fear they will be labeled a snitch.
"It would help us immensely," he said, "but we want your information however you are willing to give it to us."
"We want to bring justice for the victims," the chief said, "and we don't want whoever did this to think they can get away with it."
Tipsters also can call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898, text CSTIP plus a message to 274637 (CRIMES) or give a tip or share a video at www.mscoastcrimestoppers.com
Persons of interest?
Hendricks said police are narrowing down the list of people they suspect.
"A lot of the information we have received is giving us a little more focus on certain individuals we need to be looking at closer," he said.
Police recovered multiple shell casings from the scene. Hendricks said the shell casings have been sent off to a crime lab.
Friends and family of Major and Bates have said both men had children. Their family members were among those who attended a vigil in their memory Tuesday night at BluEnvy nightclub in Gulfport.
"I'm not trying to pester the families," Hendricks said. "They're grieving. I just want to make sure they know that our thoughts and prayers are with them and if there is anything we can do for them, we want to make that happen."
Buick question answered
Major had been driving a black Buick that had raised suspicions at first.
Hendricks said police learned Major's girlfriend and a third person had been in the car with him. Police had towed the vehicle and obtained a search warrant in case the car was involved in the shooting.
The third person has been questioned, he said.
Funeral arrangements for Major were not available Friday.
Bates' funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grace Temple Baptist Church in Gulfport. Visitation begins at noon.Watch videos from after the shooting, see photos and read morenote>