Authorities have in custody the persons who they think may be responsible for Wednesday’s apparently unrelated fatal shootings of two Greenwood men.

As of early Thursday evening, however, no one had been formally charged in the deaths of Donald Spells and Xzavion Hill.

The slayings bring to four the number of firearm-related homicides that have occurred in the Greenwood area since Saturday. For all of 2019, the homicide count now stands at 10.

Spells, 40, was shot several times by a revolver-toting assailant in the area of McLaurin Street and Roosevelt Avenue before 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to Greenwood Police Chief Ray Moore.

Donald Spells


Spells was first taken to Greenwood Leflore Hospital, then transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where he died hours later.

“We are almost certain we have the person who did this in custody,” Moore said on Wednesday, but “we are still tracing down rumors. ... At this time, we do not know what the confrontation was about.”

On Thursday, Moore said the case remains under investigation.

Less than 12 hours after that shooting, authorities were contacted about another one, this time near Sidon.

Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks said his department received a call about shots fired at County Road 512, Lot 21, around 6:46 p.m.

Hill, who lived on George White Circle, was hanging out with friends at a trailer park, Banks said.

Xzavion  Hill


Hill, 20, was shot several times and pronounced dead at the scene. Banks said no one else was hit.

Several suspects are being held in the shooting, but no formal charges have been filed, said Banks, noting that the investigation is ongoing.

When asked, Banks said that he doesn’t see a connection between Hill’s death and the three previous homicides during the past week.

Tonya Jones said she had no idea why anyone would kill Spells, who is her brother.

Known by the nickname “Pistol,” Spells would drive to Ridgeland, where Jones lives, to watch her children when needed, she said: “He loved us. He did whatever we needed him to do.”

Spells had eight children of his own. His sister said that he “loved his kids. He did the best that he could do for his kids, to provide for his kids.”

She said that his children could count on him to attend their extracurricular activities or lend a listening ear when needed.

Born and raised in Greenwood, Spells attended St. Francis of Assisi School and later got his GED certificate. He was a member of Jennings Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, according to his sister.

Spells had worked at Milwaukee Tool and the Greenwood Gin, his sister said. Most recently he started a side business in which he’d put up signs for celebratory occasions.

“Whenever I needed him to do something for me, he was always there, no questions asked,” Jones said. “He’s definitely going to be missed by his children, his family and his friends.”

Hill, who went by the name “Zay,” had attended Amanda Elzy High School and later Louisiana State University, according to his profile on Facebook.

Starting Wednesday evening, numerous friends and family members were posting to that page expressions of shock and sadness as word spread of Hill’s death.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or

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