‘We’ve got to do better Jackson:’ JPD interim police chief says killings in the Capital City will not be the norm

Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 10:57 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Jackson Police Department finds itself investigating four homicides in four days.

These homicides are weighing heavy on a lot of people, not just the residents but also the investigators who are working these scenes.

“It’s very concerning to me that we’ve accepted this as being the norm. It’s not normal. It will never be the norm,” said Joseph Wade, JPD’s Interim Police Chief. “This is not a lawless city, this is not a lawless society, and we will not tolerate that.”

Within a Spann of four days, four people were shot and killed in Jackson.

On Friday, June 23rd, 26-year-old Jaaziel Jones was shot and killed on Watkins Drive near Interstate 220.

According to police, Jones and a 23-year-old male were inside a vehicle when someone approached the vehicle and began firing. JPD said Jones was shot multiple times, and the 23-year-old was shot once. The victims were transported to a local hospital to be treated for their injuries. Unfortunately, Jones died from his injuries. The 23-year-old’s condition is not known at this time.

On Saturday, June 24th, 58-year-old Melvin McNair was shot and killed on West Countyline Road. Jackson Police arrested Carleton Haynes, 57, for allegedly shooting and killing McNair. The two men were cousins. Haynes is accused of shooting McNair on the left side of the face after the two got into a physical and verbal altercation.

Sunday, June 15th, two brothers were shot on Sanford Street, one of them, a 39-year-old, died. Investigators said it was a disturbance at the location involving the two brothers. The other brother was also shot and rushed into surgery at the nearest hospital. His condition is not known at this time.

On Monday, June 26th, 22-year-old Myriek Price was shot and killed on Wainwright Avenue. Police said Price was there visiting a female acquaintance when another man showed up. Investigators said the two men got into a fight. The gunman then shot Price in the chest and in the head and later fled the scene.

“Whatever the situation was, it did not have to end with someone losing their life,” Wade expressed. You can have a disagreement, and we can move on from that, but taking this man’s life, someone said he’s 22 years old. My son is 22. He’s still in college. Life has not even started yet.”

Of the four homicides, at this time, only one arrest has been made.

“You have family, friends, and loved ones killing family, friends, and loved ones,” said Wade. How do you navigate that? How do you deal with that? And how do you stop that? We’ve got to change the culture of how we deal with violent crimes here in the city of Jackson.”

Wade said he saw McNair at a picnic just hours before the 58-year-old was shot and killed.

“He was a good man,” the interim police chief said. “I just saw this man Saturday; I just shook this man’s hand. Somebody sent me a picture; he was right behind me in a group picture that we just took. It hurts when someone you just talked to them that day then you get a phone call that night that this person is gone. It hurts when I get that phone call every night. We’ve got to do better, Jackson. We can do better; we will do better.”

If anyone has information on these crimes, you’re asked to contact JPD at 601-960-1350 or Crime Stoppers at 601-355-8477, and remember, you can report anonymously.

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