1 dead, 2 injured, 5 jailed in Laurel "Gun-Battle"

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Published: Aug. 25, 2015 at 8:52 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 26, 2018 at 4:24 PM CST
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LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - A Sunday morning shootout in Laurel left one man dead, two injured and five people behind bars.

According to Laurel Police, the shooting occurred around 1:15 a.m. at the interstate Mini-Mart located in the 800 block of Chantilly Street.

Christopher Hailes, 25, of Laurel, was shot once in the head at the scene. Hailes was taken to South Central Regional Medical Center and then transported to Forrest General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Two suspects, Michael Williams, 22, and Curtis Williams, 23, of Heidelberg were taken into custody by Hattiesburg Police Sunday and turned back over to Laurel detectives.

Michael Williams was charged with drive-by shooting and second degree murder. According to an affidavit, Michael Williams was engaged in a "gun-battle" with Donnie Cooley and Michael Jones, which led to the death of Hailes. Michael Williams was treated at Forrest General Hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg and released into custody.

The affidavit stated that during the gun-battle, (Michael Williams) went to his car and got a weapon and started firing, and then in the process left the scene in a black Dodge Ram truck while he was still firing shots. The vehicle was later recovered at the Magnolia Motor Lodge just outside the city limits of Laurel, with the alleged murder weapon inside the driver's side door.

Michael Williams' bond was set at $375,000 for the two charges.

Curtis Williams was charged with accessory after the fact to second degree murder. An affidavit states that Curtis drove his brother, Michael Williams, to Forrest General Hospital to be treated, after calling Hattiesburg Police to report a fake crime to conceal his brother's injuries.

Curtis' bond was set at $50,000.

Three other suspects were arrested late Sunday by Laurel police as the investigation progressed.

Charlie Ducksworth was charged with attempted aggravated assault. According to an affidavit, Ducksworth engaged in the gun-battle, and was caught on a security camera firing a black revolver at an unknown subject. He later made a statement to investigators that "They had just killed my homeboy."

Ducksworth's bond was set at $100,000.

Michael Jones was charged with second degree murder.  Court affidavits listed that Jones engaged in a gun-battle with the other suspects that led to the death of Hailes. It also lists that Jones was arrested and a search of his residence produced the clothes he was wearing at the time of the shooting.

Michael Jones' bond was set at $300,000.

Donnie Cooley was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and second degree murder. Cooley was already out on bond, according to court documents. Court affidavits stated that Cooley was involved the gun-battle that resulted in the death of Hailes.

Cooley's bond was set at $310,000 for the two charges.

According to investigators, the people that were wounded in the shooting were all suspects in the shooting, and injures they sustained were a shot to the leg and ankle area. Neither of the injures were life threatening, but both received medical attention and were released into the custody of Laurel Police.

All five suspects are currently housed in the Jones County Jail.

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