Gulfport teen pleads guilty to shooting, paralyzing another teen

Jabari Thompson
Jabari Thompson

GULFPORT -- A 19-year-old Gulfport resident has admitted he fired a shot that paralyzed another teenager 18 months ago in a shooting on West George Street.

Jabari Thompson pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge this week in a hearing in Harrison County Circuit Court.

He changed his plea before Judge Chris Schmidt, who set sentencing for May 2.

Thompson faces up to 20 years in prison for aggravated assault.

The wounded man, 18 when he was shot Oct. 11, 2014, told Schmidt that Thompson was a previous acquaintance, District Attorney Joel Smith said.

The victim told Schmidt he was a visitor at a home and had driven up with a passenger when Thompson put a gun to his neck and said, "You know what this is."

The victim testified he was trying to leave when Thompson shot him in the upper back, Smith said.

Gulfport police, responding to 911 calls, went to West George Street about 10:30 p.m. and found the teen shot in the back and unable to move. But he and his passenger were able to identify the shooter, and later recognized him in a photo-lineup.

The disabled young man's grandmother told the judge he is paralyzed from the chest down, and she has had to quit her job to care for him full-time, Smith said.

ADA's Crosby Parker and Christopher Carter prosecuted the case.

Thompson also faces an unrelated charge of armed robbery. He has been held at the Harrison County jail since Nov. 7, 2014. His bond on the armed robbery charge was revoked after his arrest on the assault charge.