Wayne County murder victim confronted alleged shooter beforehand - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Wayne County murder victim confronted alleged shooter beforehand

Mary Elizabeth Johnston Mary Elizabeth Johnston
Houston Forrest Johnston Houston Forrest Johnston
Johnston's residence Johnston's residence
Slider's Grill and Grocery Slider's Grill and Grocery

Two suspects are in custody after a shooting Sunday morning near the Wayne and Jones County line.

Authorities reported Belinda Walters was killed and her 18-year-old daughter, Whitleigh Harrelson, was injured during the incident which occurred on Sandersville Pleasant Grove Road. According to Wayne County investigator Mike Mozingo, the shooting happened around 3 a.m. Sunday after an incident involving multiple text messages.

Walters noticed a text message on her unnamed 13-year-old daughter's cell phone from 20-year-old Houston Forrest Johnston. Walters called Johnston in response and asked that they meet at Sliders Grocery.

At the store, she requested that Johnston stop texting her underage daughter. After leaving, Walters called Whitleigh. Walters, Whitleigh, and Whitleigh's husband decided to confront Johnston at his residence about the messages. At the door, they were met with Houston's mother, Mary Elizabeth Johnston, who had a shotgun. As they attempted to leave the residence, Mary opened fire and wounded Whitleigh. Houston then joined his mother in the shooting with a rifle at which time he fatally shot Walters.

Following the incident, Jonston was arrested and charged with murder. His mother has also been arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Both are being held for further questioning.

An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

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