Michael Barnill

Michael Barnhill, suspected in the shooting deaths of three people in Carroll County on Friday night.

Three people are dead and a man is in custody after a shooting Friday night at a residence in Carroll County.

A relative confirmed the identity of the victims as Brooks Hooker Harrell, 39, her husband, Jim Harrell, 44, and Marlee Jones Barnhill, 27, who was the wife or ex-wife of the accused shooter. That detail couldn't be confirmed early Saturday.

Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker said deputies responding to reports of the shooting in the house at 361 County Road 135, just north of U.S. 82, arrested Michael Martin Barnhill, 30, of Montgomery County. He was being held at the Carroll County Jail on Saturday.

Jim and Brooks Hooker Harrell

Jim and Brooks Hooker Harrell

Marlee Jones Barnhill

Marlee Jones Barnhill

Janet Hooker, mother of Brooks Hooker Harrell, told the Commonwealth a group of people had gathered at the Harrells' home Friday evening, including her daughter and son-in-law, both of the Barnhills, Mauri Suggs and Amber Garrard. The two women victims, Suggs and Garrard were all either current or former employees of Greenwood Leflore Hospital.

Mrs. Hooker said one of the women gave her this account of the shooting:

The group was on the back patio of the home when Marlee Barnhill lit a cigarette. She had recently quit smoking, and Michael Barnhill knocked the cigarette out of her mouth. When she went to pick it up, he shot her, then shot Brooks Hooker Harrell twice, and Jim Harrell three times.

Suggs and Garrard were able to get into the house and run upstairs where the Harrells' 10-year-old son, Trace, was asleep. They put him in a closet and barricaded the door to the room.

A neighbor heard the gunshots and tried to call the house. When she got no response, she walked over, found the bodies on the patio and called 911.

Mrs. Hooker said the Harrells' other son, Allen, 15, was at her house in Greenwood when the shooting occurred.

Walker said deputies called a MedStat ambulance to the scene, but two of the victims died at the house and the other while in route by ambulance to a landing zone where a helicopter awaited.

Agents from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the State Crime Scene Unit were processing the scene Saturday morning and interviewing witnesses.

A spokeswoman for Greenwood Leflore Hospital issued this statement: "Greenwood Leflore Hospital is very saddened to hear of this tragedy involving two of our former employees. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time."

Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

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