Police identify second suspect in Laurel drive-by shooting

Police identify second suspect in Laurel drive-by shooting
Nijeal Nixon (left) and Thomas McLaurin Jr. (right) are charged in connection to a Tuesday drive-by shooting in Laurel. (Source: Laurel Police Department and WTOK)

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel police have released the identities of the suspects charged in connection to a drive-by shooting that happened on state Route 15 around midday Tuesday.

LPD Chief Tommy Cox identified the suspects in custody as 21-year-old Thomas McLaurin Jr. and 19-year-old Nijeal Nixon.

Cox said the shooting happened near the Rainforest Car Wash just before noon. Witnesses reported two vehicles exchanged gunfire at the exit of the business, according to Cox. No injuries were reported, but a nearby business was hit by a bullet.

Cox said the people inside one vehicle surrendered at the Laurel Police Department a short time after the shooting. Cox said Nixon, of Laurel, was booked into the Jones County Jail on a charge of drive-by shooting.

Nijeal Nixon is charged with drive-by shooting.
Nijeal Nixon is charged with drive-by shooting. (Source: Laurel Police Department)

The second vehicle was spotted in Jasper County, and the driver led police on a high-speed chase in Clarke County, Cox said.

Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp told our sister station, WTOK in Meridian, that McLaurin reached speeds over 100 mph during the chase down highways and county roads. Kemp said the suspect eluded authorities and tried to hide out in Shabuta before being located again.

WTOK reported that the chase finally ended when the suspect’s car crashed at the intersection of County Road 270 and County Road 250 in Clarke County. That’s where McLaurin, of Bay Springs, was arrested.

Kemp said McLaurin faces numerous charges, including two counts of assault on an officer, felony fleeing and shooting charges in Laurel. It is believed that he got rid of a gun during the chase, Kemp said.

Cox said McLaurin will eventually be transported to Laurel, where he faces one count of drive-by shooting.

Thomas McLaurin faces multiple charges after a multi-county chase. (Photo source: WTOK)
Thomas McLaurin faces multiple charges after a multi-county chase. (Photo source: WTOK)

Cox thanked the numerous law enforcement agencies that were involved in the response to the shooting.

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