CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - The last post on Tahir Fitzhugh’s Facebook page was one of his original music pieces called “Heartbreak Vibes,” with a message for his listeners to enjoy it because “these the last lil few love joints I’m putting out.”
Just hours later, he and fellow Alcorn student James Carr were gunned down at a bonfire, and two other students were injured by the gunfire.
Tahir came to Alcorn State from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father says that was a wish of his mother’s -- for him to be away from the dangers of urban life.
“She wanted to get him out of the urban community where all the gun violence and the shooting and all of that was taking place," said Anthony Fitzhugh, Sr. "So her top priority was, ‘I want my son to finish high school, go to college and get a good education so that he can better himself so that he can make a difference,’ and for him to come all the way down here and something like this happen is really devastating.”
Tahir’s brother, Tony Fitzhugh, says he wishes he’d let his brother tag along more when they were kids. It’s evident that both Tahir’s father and brother were very proud of him.
“You know, he took a better route than me to go to college and do what’s necessary. He was well-liked and an aspiring artist, but definitely a brother that you would want to have," said Tony. "That’s my baby brother. And any older brother would want a baby brother like that.”
Anthony said getting the call Tuesday morning that his son had been shot and killed was a shock for so many reasons, but a major one was that Tahir was not the kind of guy to get in trouble.
“Actually I thought I was dreaming, because with him, that’s just the last call you think you would get with him,” he said. “He stays out of trouble, he doesn’t do anything... he’s a good kid. So to get a call like that at that time in the morning to say, ‘Your son has just gotten shot and murdered,’ that was a shock.”
Tony says there are many things he’d like to do to carry on his brother’s legacy.
Tahir was working on an EP he was about to put out, and Tony said he’d like to touch base with his brother’s friends and finish it. On top of that, he said, maybe it’s time to go back to school and get a business degree.
“There’s no other way to live on for him than to step on the right path, because that’s what he was doing,” he said.
Claiborne County Sheriff Edward Goods says Alcorn is close to his heart, and he vows to find everyone involved with the shootings of Fitzhugh and Carr.
“It hit home. I couldn’t sleep last night," Goods said. "And it’s going to be hard to sleep until we get everybody involved locked up.”
“The who, what, when, where and how, but the why is the hardest thing to find out, especially when it comes to the loss of life,” added Investigator Troy Kimble.
Sheriff Goods also asked the community to unite behind the families of James Carr and Tahir Fitzhugh.
“Prayers," he said. “I just ask the community to lift the family in prayer and let’s pray as a community so that justice can be served.”
And to the person who pulled the trigger, the Fitzhughs have a message:
“Turn yourself in before they find you. That’s all I can say. Do the right thing. They are definitely going to find you," said Tony. “Make it easier on them, make it easier on yourself, make it easier on my family, lets put closure to this and bring justice.”